All of the earliest 5G networks have relied on a preliminary version of the 5G standard known as Release 15, which leaned heavily on existing 4G network infrastructure — and limitations — to deliver “non-standalone” 5G services. With Release 16 scheduled to enable standalone 5G in June 2020, T-Mobile and Taiwanese modem maker MediaTek today announced that they have completed the world’s first standalone 5G data call in a multi-vendor environment, paving the way for what some have called “true 5G” next year.
Compared with non-standalone 5G, which enables devices with 5G modems to enjoy markedly faster download speeds without commensurate improvements over 4G in uploads or latency, standalone 5G is expected to radically increase the number of applications for the new cellular technology. Ultra low latency vehicle-to-vehicle communications, real-time virtual and augmented reality, and other network responsiveness improvements will arrive with standalone 5G, as will the ability of 5G
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