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T-Mobile now offers 5G voice, ahead of most network operators

T-Mobile now offers 5G voice, ahead of most network operators

According to US carriers, 5G has well and truly arrived. we've done! We won the 5G race. But there is one piece of the puzzle that is still largely missing: voice. Phone calls still rely primarily on LTE networks, even where 5G data coverage is strong. Today, T-Mobile announced that it has taken a small step toward making Voice over 5G a reality. In Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah, some commercial calls will be routed through T-Mobile's standalone 5G network.

Voice over 5G (called Voice over New Radio or VoNR) is a major challenge for the entire wireless industry, although all US carriers would like to move voice calling to 5G in the future to free up LTE spectrum for 5G. Voice calls over 5G are also subject to low latency, so there are real benefits to customers as well.

However, not every carrier is in a hurry to send calls on 5G. Fear Wireless noted last year that T-Mobile was leading the charge as part of its efforts to be seen as the leader in 5G. Verizon and AT&T, in contrast, have been content for the time being to continue using LTE for calls while they continue to build out their 5G networks. True to form, T-Mobile has made a habit of speaking out loud with its 5G first, which includes the first voice call in 2020 on a 5G standalone network using LTE.

VoNR is also something Dish is working to explore as it builds its 5G network from scratch, and it could be a turning point in its ability to meet the FCC's requirements as per the Sprint merger deal. Although it doesn't have its own LTE network, it does detect VoNR, and analysts say it's important for carriers to seamlessly switch between voice calls over 5G and LTE networks used as roaming partners. work. is struggling. If it meets the FCC's requirement to cover 20 percent of the population by the end of the month, it will probably only do so with data -- not voice -- on its network.

In the meantime, you'll probably have a hard time seeing 5G voice calls happening in the wild, even if you're a T-Mobile customer in Portland or Salt Lake City. Right now, the technology only works with the Samsung Galaxy S21 and is available in "limited areas" of those cities.

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