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T-Mobile Is The First To Enable 5G-Based Calling Using VoNR

06 T Mobile Logo REVVL DG AH 2020
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T-Mobile has officially enabled 5G VoNR (Voice over New Radio) for phone calls in Portland, Oregon, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The carrier said VoNR will become available in more regions over the coming months.

5G VoNR on T-Mobile is only compatible with the Galaxy S21 5G right now

In case you’re unaware, carriers have been striving to enable VoNR via their 5G networks but haven’t found much success. So while 5G data use is widely expanding, VoNR is not yet there yet. The best that most 5G carriers can do is utilize 4G VoLTE (Voice over LTE) for calls. Many analysts believe that providing 5G-based voice services is a significant hurdle in network expansion.

So T-Mobile’s announcement (via XDA) appears to have come at the right time, making it the first carrier in the U.S. to enable VoNR at this scale. 5G VoNR on T-Mobile is currently limited to residents of Portland and Salt Lake City. But T-Mobile said a broader expansion is on the horizon.

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For now, 5G VoNR only works on T-Mobile’s 5G-compatible Samsung Galaxy S21 5G. The carrier said that support for more 5G devices, including the Galaxy S22 series, will come later this year. Since the new rollout is limited to just two cities, it’s too early to tell if 5G VoNR on T-Mobile works as advertised.

“5G is already driving new levels of engagement, transforming how our customers use their smartphones and bringing unprecedented connectivity to areas that desperately need it,” says Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “And it’s just going to get better thanks to the incredible T-Mobile team and our partners who are tirelessly innovating and advancing the capabilities of 5G every day.”

T-Mobile 5G VoNR users should find “slightly faster call set-up times”

T-Mobile also notes that 5G VoNR customers “will notice slightly faster call set-up times,” which translates to a reduced delay in the time between dialing the number and hearing the phone ring. This isn’t exactly a major benefit for everyday users and will likely go unnoticed for the most part. However, it’s an evolving technology, meaning that companies are constantly working on making it better.

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For now, the best that a majority of T-Mobile customers can get is VoLTE. The carrier didn’t say when it would initiate a wider rollout of VoNR across the country.