Deutsche Telekom completes its first standalone 5G video call

German operator DT has managed its first call in a pure 5G environment, independent of any legacy 4G kit.

The call was made via a standalone antenna in Garching to Bamberg in Telekom’s first 5G standalone core network and from there to Bonn. To date nearly all 5G networks are standing on the shoulders of 4G infrastructure and technology, but that ‘non-standalone’ just an interim stage to enable the telecoms industry to start flogging 5G.

Standalone 5G uses nothing but shiny new 5G kit all the way through the process. This is the only way to get proper 5G and appreciate all the great stuff we’re promised will come with it. That’s why this incremental step is noteworthy – it indicates the transition from NSA to SA is underway in the wild.

“True technical innovation is made up of implementation strength and pioneering spirit,” said Walter Goldenits, CTO of Telekom Deutschland. “Telekom has clearly demonstrated both with 5G. More than two-thirds of people in Germany can already use Telekom’s 5G network today. And the next step has also been taken. With our first data connection via 5G Standalone, we are making history again.”

“Our goal is to continue to actively shape the future of mobile communications. 5G standalone is important to be able to use technologies such as network slicing or edge computing,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology and Innovation at Telekom. “We are very proud to have taken the next innovation step in 5G. With this test, we are once again demonstrating our innovation leadership.”

The key novel feature of 5G is low latency, which promises lagless video, remote control over mobile networks and all kinds of other mission-critical goodness. As a major industrial hub Germany is a country that stands to benefit most from use-cases such as smart factories, so we would expect it to be a front-runner when it comes to putting SA 5G into practice.

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