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neville ray confirms 5G carrier aggregation

T-Mobile’s President of Technology, Neville Ray, has confirmed NR CA (New Radio Carrier Aggregation) will roll out through the end of this year and into next year, starting on the iPhone 13 series of devices.

During a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Monday the 13th, Neville Ray responded to a user’s question about standalone 5G and 5G carrier aggregation.

We’re on track to begin delivering NR CA to more customers by the end of this year. The next phase of NR CA will focus on increasing our 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum beyond 100 MHz. With N41 channels of 120-140 MHz, customers will experience a significant boost in throughput. This capability will initially be available to customers with iPhone 13 and will expand to additional devices in Q1.

Neville Ray, President of Technology, T-Mobile

Carrier aggregation is a term used to describe the ability of a network device to connect and use two or more connection bands at the same time. T-Mobile’s LTE, for example, regularly does CA between its bands 2, 4, 12, 66, and 71 connections. This adds increased throughput and bandwidth for the end user’s device.

T-Mobile began testing NR CA over a year ago, reaching speeds of over 1,000 Mbps on a combined n41 and n71 connection using an LG Velvet 5G.

Adding carrier aggregation to T-Mobile’s 5G (specifically n41 and n71) will unlock even higher speeds than are already possible. According to Neville, that network feature has already slowly begun rolling out, and will continue to roll out through the end of the year.

Neville also mentioned that the Apple iPhone 13 series of devices will be the first consumer devices to have the 5G carrier aggregation feature enabled. Other devices will slowly have CA enabled through Q1 of 2022 (which begins in February).

Hopefully customers begin noticing the improved 5G performance later on in 2022. T-Mobile’s new 5G Home Internet Gateway has a chip that supports 5G Carrier Aggregation, too. We’ll have to wait and see if that new device has CA enabled.

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