T-Mobile US claimed a national first after testing mmWave on its standalone (SA) 5G network, achieving download data rates of more than 4.3Gb/s.

Trials were conducted with Ericsson and Qualcomm and involved aggregating eight channels of mmWave spectrum without relying on low-band or mid-band spectrum to anchor the connection.

For the uplink, it aggregated four channels of mmWave, achieving data rates of more than 420Mb/s.

T-Mobile is currently the only operator in the US to have fully deployed a SA 5G network. It uses low-, mid- and high-band spectrum but is exploring mmWave for crowded areas and a potential fixed wireless access application.

The operator spent around $1.7 billion on mmWave licences during three auctions.

It used mmWave for its initial 5G launch in 2019, but has since focused heavily on deployments using low- and mid-band.

In contrast, rival Verizon uses mmWave in congested areas.

Ulf Ewaldsson, president of technology at T-Mobile, noted it always said it would use mmWave “where it makes sense”.