T-Mobile 5G Voice (VONR) Kickstarts while Others Remain Calm

T-Mobile 5G Voice has kicked off in limited areas in Portland, and Salt Lake City with VONR technology. The move makes the operator the first to offer Voice over 5G in the country. Other telcos have not announced plans to leap from Voice over LTE or VoLTE yet.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has plans to expand the voice service to many areas this year.  

Voice Over New Radio (VONR) is the new technology based on the 5G Standalone (5G SA) network.  The telco says, the voice feature is currently available on Samsung Galaxy S21 5G device but will be available on more devices later this year. This also includes the Galaxy S22.

T-Mobile has taken a leap in the 5G race with the telco now boasting nationwide coverage. Integrating the 5G NR (Voice over 5G) will keep devices connected to 5G. Being a Standalone architecture means users won’t fall back to LTE or 3G if available, for a call.

The innovative VONR was added to T-Mobile’s 5G infrastructure using Ericsson solutions and Nokia’s radio and core technologies.

A key to 5G deployment ahead

Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, said: ‘The commercial launch of the VoNR service is another important step in T-Mobile’s successful 5G deployment.”

At the same time, Tommi Uitto, president of Nokia Mobile Networks, stated that the VoNR integration into T-Mobile’s 5G network is “a critical step forward for the new 5G voice ecosystem.”

But while T-Mobile undertook this key 5G feature on its network, its immediate competitors have noticeably downplayed their own moves.

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T-Mobile 5G Voice starts but competitors have no plans to follow the suit

Upon being quizzed about T-Mobile’s VONR, Verizon said, “With the strength and extensive coverage of our industry-leading 4G network we do not currently see a need for voice over 5G.”

Likewise, AT&T resembled that it holds no plan to implement 5G voice for the foreseeable future.  “We plan to implement VoNR when we believe we can offer a voice experience that rivals our HD Voice capabilities. We haven’t published plans on when it will be commercially available,” the company has said in a statement.

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