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T-Mobile has launched the first Standalone 5G service in America to give you a great network experience. To access Standalone 5G, the SIM card in your compatible 5G device must be Standalone 5G capable.

 

Why did I get a message about changing my SIM card?

  • T-Mobile is committed to providing the largest, most reliable 5G network in the Nation. This means we are regularly rolling out new technology to enhance and grow our 5G network. 
  • While your current SIM card is 5G compatible, it is not capable of using the 5G standalone technology we recently rolled out. 
  • Changing your SIM card will help to ensure you get more 5G in more places when using a compatible device, such as indoors and in rural locations, and will make sure you're ready to take advantage of future network enhancement.

What to do

  • If you have the SIM card that came with your 5G device, you just need to activate it.
  • If you no longer have the SIM that came with your 5G device, contact us or stop by a store for a replacement SIM.
    For your security, the account holder or an authorized user must make the request.

 

What is Standalone 5G?

What it does

Standalone architecture is the future of wireless connectivity. It will help bring 5G closer to reaching its true potential with: 

  • Faster speeds
  • Lower latency, so you can experience shorter delays
  • Massive connectivity

Why it matters

Standalone 5G will help pave the way for new applications and supercharge things like:

  • Mobile augmented and virtual reality
  • Cloud gaming
  • Real-time translation
  • And so much more!

What you need to access Standalone 5G

At T-Mobile, there is no extra cost for Standalone 5G. Here’s all you need to get it (see FAQs for more details):

 

FAQs

 
I’m already using 5G on my phone, why do I need to change my SIM?
 

T-Mobile recently launched new 5G standalone technology which will enable our customers to get more 5G in more places when using a compatible SIM and device. The SIM card you are using is not compatible with this new 5G standalone technology. You’ll want to update your SIM to ensure you can get the best network experience.

 
Will I get better 5G coverage once I change my SIM?
 

Changing your SIM will help to ensure you can access both our Standalone and Non-Standalone 5G when using a compatible device. While you may not see an immediate difference, this will ensure that you benefit from ongoing enhancements we will be making to our 5G network over the years.

 
What is Standalone 5G vs. Non-Standalone?
 

Non-standalone (NSA) relies on a mid-band LTE signal to access the 5G network. The device must connect to both LTE AND 5G. Standalone (SA) operates independently of the LTE network. With SA, the device connects to LTE OR 5G, whatever is the appropriate core network. SA allows full access to the benefits of 5G without the limitations of legacy LTE.

 
Who is eligible for Standalone 5G? Will I have to change my plan or pay more?
 

Customers’ T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile plans include access to 5G (SA and NSA) at no extra cost.

 
Are there any technical requirements to access SA 5G besides a compatible SIM?
 

Yes, your device must receive a software update from the manufacturer to work on 5G SA. All 5G capable devices will eventually be sent the software update; for some devices this has already happened while others will come at a later date. T-Mobile doesn’t currently have information from the manufacturers to know when.

If your devices haven’t received the update yet, it will still work great on our LTE network and on the Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G coverage, so you will see 5G when you travel to other locations. Once the software update is available, you’ll pick up the new 5G technology at your location too! 

 
What benefits can I expect with Standalone 5G?
 

SA is a major milestone as it’s essential to unlocking truly transformational 5G in the future. Currently, Standalone 5G allows T-Mobile to expand 5G coverage and performs similar to NSA that already exists today. Down the road, Standalone 5G is expected to deliver the capacity, data speeds, and lower latency that will fuel future innovation. As 5G apps and innovations are introduced, they will be optimized on Standalone 5G technology.

 
Is standalone 5G faster than Non-Standalone?
 

Currently, Standalone 5G performs similar to NSA that already exists today. Down the road, Standalone 5G is expected to deliver the capacity, data speeds, and lower latency that will fuel future innovation. As 5G apps and innovations are introduced, they will be optimized on Standalone 5G technology.

 
Is Standalone the only 5G coverage on the T-Mobile network?
 

No, the majority of our nationwide 5G network is on NSA. We have started lighting up Standalone 5G in select areas and will roll out additional SA as we continue to expand the T-Mobile 5G network.

 
Where can I access Standalone 5G? Can I see it on your coverage map?
 

We’ve just started rolling out SA so it’s only available in select areas. The coverage map shows our nationwide 5G footprint so you’ll notice the expanded 5G coverage, especially in some rural areas and indoor locations where there wasn’t 5G coverage before. The map does not, however, distinguish SA from NSA. A T-Mobile care or retail sales associate can help identify if there’s SA in your area – if you’d like to learn more, please visit a T-Mobile retail store or call 611 on your mobile device.

 
Can Sprint customers with a 5G capable device access Standalone 5G?
 

Sprint 5G devices cannot access our newest Standalone 5G technology. These devices can, however, access our Nationwide 5G (NSA) coverage.

 
Can Metro customers with a 5G device access Standalone 5G?
 

Yes, customers on Metro by T-Mobile who meet the technical requirements can access Standalone 5G.

Capable device required; coverage not available in some areas. While 5G access won't require a certain plan or feature, some uses/services might. See Coverage details, Terms and Conditions, and Open Internet information for network management details (like video optimization) at T-Mobile.com.

 

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