T-Mobile’s dynamic duo over at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit in Hawaii – VP of product engineering Ryan Sullivan and SVP of tech strategy Karri Kuoppamaki – have sat down for another interview further detailing the Un-carrier’s 5G plans.
- T-Mobile will be able to take advantage of the Qualcomm X65’s three-carrier 5G aggregation in several different ways. The carrier has more than 100MHz of mid-band 5G spectrum in a lot of places, and in those places, it needs 3xCA to do two 100MHz mid-band channels plus a low-band channel for uplink/better range. There are also some cities (like New York) where its mid-band allocation is split in half and can be used like two separate bands. So X65 phones (such as the Galaxy S22) should bring considerable performance improvements on T-Mobile’s mid-band.
- 3.45-to-3.55GHz spectrum, which is in the middle of being auctioned, should clear in some places by the end of 2022. This means that AT&T, and whoever else buys that spectrum, will potentially see a considerable boost in C-band performance specifically when used with those X65 modems next year, over and above the initial C-band launches.
The other question is whether you would need 10 Gigabit 5G speeds on your phone in the foreseeable future at all. For instance, even 8K streaming video chat wouldn’t need as much bandwidth; despite that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 now supports it, T-Mobile’s execs mentioned in the interview that their top 5G plan called Magenta Max will keep maxing out at 4K streaming, and that has nothing to do with deprioritization.
With the Galaxy S22 models that can take advantage of the Qualcomm X65 modem’s three-carrier 5G aggregation as soon as T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T start enabling the technology on their next-gen networks, the 5G connectivity gap between Apple and Samsung is only poised to grow wider, and Samsung will have the definite advantage at least until the iPhone 14 rolls off the conveyor belts.