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T-Mobile’s 5G network upgrade means better indoor and rural coverage – CNET

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T-Mobile’s 5G network is getting a boost.
Angela Lang/CNET

T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network is getting a boost. On Tuesday, the self-proclaimed “un-carrier” announced that it has turned on a new version of its 5G network that should allow for better coverage and lower latency.

Known as Standalone 5G (or SA 5G), this version of 5G does not need to be anchored to any existing 4G LTE service, enabling T-Mobile to offer better coverage and performance compared to its current 5G offering.

Karri Kuoppamaki, T-Mobile’s vice president of technology development and strategy, says the move will “allow 5G to reach its full potential” and not be limited by the shortcomings of the older, 4G LTE foundation that its initial 5G network relies on. Those in rural areas or who have trouble keeping a signal deep in buildings, in particular, should see better coverage as part of the move.

Latency, or the responsiveness of the network, should also improve which will make data seem faster when connected to this 5G service. Kuoppamaki says that in its testing T-Mobile has seen latency improvements of up to 40%.

The coverage boost — particularly indoors — is a potential boon at a time when people are generally confined indoors in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The new standalone network, meanwhile, represents the future for the carrier’s 5G ambitions, although T-Mobile’s existing 5G network will remain active and, for many, likely the main way they connect to the next-generation network. The standalone 5G will kick in when the traditional network (known as non-standalone or NSA) isn’t available.

Given that this new deployment is still in its early stages, the existing NSA network and its midband LTE foundation is still more capable than the new standalone 600 Mhz low-band option. Because it can use more than one form of wireless spectrum, the existing NSA network will allow for faster speeds and better service compared just the single low-band that the standalone 5G network is currently using.

T-Mobile plans to make its other spectrum, including the newly acquired midband 2.5 GHz airwaves it got through its merger with Sprint, available to the standalone 5G network over time.

“This is all about having 5G available everywhere,” Kuoppamaki says, “and us delivering on the promise of 5G for all.” He adds that the SA 5G launch is nationwide, expanding T-Mobile’s 5G footprint by 30% and allowing it to now cover 1.3 million square miles.

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To mark its 5G standalone network, T-Mobile flew hundreds of drones over Lisbon, North Dakota.
T-Mobile

The carrier says that as part of the upgrade it now has a 5G network that covers “nearly 250 million people,” building on its early lead over rivals AT&T and Verizon.

Last month, AT&T announced that it now offers a low-band 5G network that covers 205 million people, a milestone as it surpasses the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of what qualifies as a “nationwide” network.

Verizon currently only offers 5G over a higher-frequency millimeter-wave technology, though that is limited to just certain parts of 35 cities. It plans to launch its own nationwide low-band network later this year.

Those with one of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 devices or a OnePlus 8 5G, from either T-Mobile or Sprint, will be the first to be able to take advantage of the new standalone 5G service after downloading a recently released software update. You will need to make sure to have a T-Mobile SIM card, something Sprint users can get by heading into a T-Mobile store though those Sprint users would also need to switch their Sprint plan to one offered by T-Mobile.

Other 2020 5G devices from both carriers will be able to take advantage of the new option, though they will need to wait until software updates are released. T-Mobile will also add support for the new network to the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G and OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren that were released in 2019 via a software update, however no timeline has yet been given for when that update will arrive.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

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You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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