You can now make voice calls over 5G on T-Mobile
T-Mobile has once again moved the needle forward in the wireless industry, being one of the first to offer commercial Voice over 5G (VoNR, or Voice over New Radio) service to its customers. There’s a catch though: the service is currently limited to Portland, Oregon, and Salt Lake City, in Utah. The Un-carrier plans to expand the service to other parts of the United States by the end of the year.
If you’re wondering what exactly Voice over 5G (VoNR, or Voice over New Radio) is, you’ve come to the right place. Simply put, it takes basic calling features and utilizes the 5G network. While this is just the start, this should theoretically allow voice services to improve in fidelity, offering lower latency when compared to traditional LTE networks. Of course, just how much of a difference it makes remains to be seen. An even bigger benefit is that it means if you’re downloading something in the background, a call won’t downgrade your connection and slow the download at the same time.
The service is currently limited to Portland, Oregon, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
As mentioned previously, the service is only available in a limited capacity in some regions of the United States, but there are other restrictions, too. Customers in supported areas will need to use Samsung Galaxy S21 5G devices in order to take advantage of 5G VoNR. Support for Samsung’s Galaxy S22 5G devices will arrive sometime this year. Despite this being an extremely limited customer base that can use the service, it still makes T-Mobile the first and only wireless carrier in the U.S. to offer this service, and it’s very likely we’ll see the service quickly expand.
“We don’t just have the leading 5G network in the country. T-Mobile is setting the pace for providers around the globe as we push the industry forward – now starting to roll out another critical service over 5G. 5G is already driving new levels of engagement, transforming how our customers use their smartphones and bringing unprecedented connectivity to areas that desperately need it. And it’s just going to get better thanks to the incredible T-Mobile team and our partners who are tirelessly innovating and advancing the capabilities of 5G every day.”
Ultimately, 5G VoNR is the first step in shedding the older 4G LTE network. Currently, wireless carriers are making use of 4G and 5G networks. This is not only detrimental to the quality of service, but also to smartphones directly as it can affect battery life. T-Mobile claims that customers connected to 5G VoNR will currently experience slightly less delay when a phone number is dialed and when the call actually begins ringing. This is not a huge benefit, but this is really just the first phase.
Naturally, all of T-Mobile’s 5G partners are ecstatic, with Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung showing support and praise for the introduction of 5G VoNR. Currently, T-Mobile covers 225 million people nationwide with its 5G service. It expects to increase that total to 260 million in 2022, and 300 million in 2023.