T-Mobile US laid claim to the world’s first six-carrier aggregation (6CA) call using sub-6GHz spectrum on its live production 5G network in a test that included Ericsson and Qualcomm.

The operator merged six 5G channels of mid-band spectrum, which included two channels of 2.5GHz, two channels of PCS spectrum and two channels of AWS spectrum, to create “an effective 245MHz of aggregated 5G channels” in the test to reach download speeds of above 3.6Gb/s.

Carrier aggregation enables operators to combine multiple 5G channels, or carriers, to deliver faster speeds and improved performance

The operator didn’t say when it would fully deploy 6CA, but Ulf Ewaldsson, president of technology at T-Mobile, stated in the US it’s “the only mobile provider serving tens of millions of customers to unleash new capabilities like 5G carrier aggregation nationwide”.

In 2023, the operator announced four-carrier aggregation was live in its network after previously deploying 2CA.

US rivals AT&T and Dish Wireless also conducted carrier aggregation trials in 2023 to boost speeds on their 5G networks.