Current 5G smartphones need to rely on 4G LTE so make phone calls, hindering a standalone 5G experience. T-Mobile says customers connected to VoNR can expect “slightly faster call set-up times” and customers won’t need to switch back and forth between 4G and 5G when answering and ending calls.
T-Mobile has announced and launched the ability to make and receive phone calls using 5G technology. VoNR (Voice Over New Radio) is presently available in limited T-Mobile service regions in Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah, with hopes to extend to other places across the United States this year. VoNR is already available to T-Mobile customers who own a Samsung Galaxy S21. A future version will include support for the S22 series.
Standalone 5G removes the need for an underlying 4G LTE network and 4G core, so 5G can reach its true potential. In other words, it’s ‘pure 5g’. Just as 3G networks have been completely sunset in the US in recent months, the announcement of VoNR signals the beginning of the end for 4G LTE. As 5G devices saturate smartphone markets around the world, 4G LTE will eventually trickle down to mostly be around for processing phone calls (VoLTE) before it is completely phased out – of course, that won’t be for another several years, we hope.