T-Mobile US made good on a pledge to launch standalone (SA) 5G in the current quarter, boldly claiming a world first in terms of providing nationwide coverage.

The operator is far from a pioneer in terms of lighting SA 5G, with Telstra, Vodafone UK and South African operator rain also recently making moves.

But it can certainly claim bragging rights in the US, with Verizon still preparing for a shift to an SA 5G core as of early July, and AT&T targeting a launch by the year-end.

T-Mobile president of technology Neville Ray stated the move was a “massive step into the future”, tipping it to open “the door for massive innovation in this country”.

The upgraded network uses the 600MHz band: T-Mobile launched non-standalone 5G service in the frequency in December 2019, adding to a mmWave deployment in June 2019.

Cisco and Nokia provided core equipment for the SA network, which T-Mobile said boosted its 5G coverage by close to 30 per cent to almost 250 million people in more than 7,500 cities, and reduced latency 40 per cent.

Customers with OnePlus 8 5G and Samsung Galaxy S20 5G smartphones will be able to access the network following a software upgrade, with others to follow in the coming months except for Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G.