T-Mobile has even greater 5G ambitions, preparing two major 2021 breakthroughs
Even more importantly, the nation's second-largest mobile network operator has everything it needs to win the 5G speed war both in the short and long run... and no, we're not just talking about a couple of blocks in a few major cities here and there. In addition to an unrivaled treasure trove of mid-band spectrum, Magenta has a bunch of other valuable technologies up its sleeve, including 5G carrier aggregation and something called "Voice over New Radio" (VoNR).
The best speeds are yet to come
Ray revealed, for instance, at a recent investor conference that a huge carrier aggregation enhancement is "part of" T-Mo's "ambition" for next year. Previously used for 4G LTE connectivity, the aptly named technology will be implemented in the not-too-distant future to, well, aggregate data transmissions in different 5G spectrum bands, thus bumping up speeds.
Unfortunately, in order for T-Mobile to realize this particular ambition, smartphone manufacturers will need to actually get their devices to support the technology, which is not currently the case and may crucially contribute to a "staggered" rollout.
In other words, Magenta fully expects its 5G carrier aggregation efforts to materialize at some point in 2021, but whether you'll be able to enjoy the improved speeds made possible by this important development also depends on what device you use or plan on buying in the near future.
Voice calls will benefit from the 5G transition as well
Although T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T have pretty much exclusively focused their 5G advertising efforts on current and future improvements in download and upload speeds, voice calls are also due for a big progress... sooner or later.
For its part, T-Mo plans to start implementing Voice over 5G (or Voice over New Radio 5G) as a VoLTE (Voice over LTE) replacement sometime next year. While the intention is to move voice traffic from 4G to 5G as quickly as possible, the "Un-carrier" is not alone in this endeavour either, needing strong support from relevant equipment vendors to vastly improve (at least in theory) the clarity and reliability of its customers' good old fashioned phone calls.
All in all, we can't exactly say we're shocked to hear Magenta has a good shot at pulling these breakthroughs off before its arch-rivals. After all, T-Mobile also managed to beat Verizon and AT&T to the punch with its standalone 5G network launch back in August 2020 while taking a sizable lead in the mid-band deployment arena, which is undoubtedly the most important piece of the so-called "layer cake" puzzle, striking the best balance between 5G speeds and coverage from the three metaphorical layers.