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(Pocket-lint) - T-Mobile US has announced a huge boost to its 5G network by around 30 percent. With the launch of a so-called 'standalone' (SA) 5G network, nearly 250 million people in more than 7,500 cities and towns across the US now have 5G coverage - around twice the footprint of nearest 5G rival AT&T. Verizon is still only covering central areas of major cities. 

The move came as T-Mobile sought to move on from its protracted takeover of fourth-place US carrier Sprint. Sprint's mid-band 5G service has been incorporated into T-Mobile's 5G to help reach the current level of coverage and push it further including into buildings.

The acquisition has been a huge distraction and cost for T-Mobile, which has even had to promise that it will help Dish to become another competitor (by hosting them as a virtual network initially) to replace Sprint. 

Standalone 5G networks have the benefit of lower latency (T-Mobile is reporting a 40 percent drop) and are designed for future 5G applications like smart factories and fully connected vehicles. 

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T-Mobile's 5G core technology comes from Nokia and Cisco, while the radio infrastructure is from Ericsson and Nokia. Yep, that's pretty much how things will look for mobile networks in a world where Huawei is increasingly being sidelined for 5G - and is banned in the US, of course. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 5 August 2020.