Telus Rolls Out Standalone 5G Network in Western Canada

Telus has activated its standalone 5G (5G SA) network in Western Canada, just a week after launching the service in Eastern Canada.

Users in Edmonton have reported successful connections to 5G SA on Android phones, with speed tests showing over 1 Gbps. The network is accessible throughout Edmonton, from the north to the south and downtown areas.

Standalone 5G offers several advantages over its non-standalone counterpart. Users have reported improved battery life as phones no longer need to maintain simultaneous connections to LTE and 5G.

The 5G network also promises better coverage, as LTE cells are not required to hand off to 5G cells. One customer noted that areas of their suburban home that previously had poor or no signal now have consistent 5G SA coverage.

“In my suburban house where I have terrible coverage, speeds on LTE are only 1-10 Mbps, and now I get 40-60 Mbps on 5G SA everywhere in my house,” said a Telus customer on Reddit.

The technology also offers improved speeds and latency, as connections are made directly to 5G without downgrading to LTE. Future updates will enable voice calls to go directly over 5G (VoNR) for better quality, although for now, calls still downgrade to LTE (VoLTE).

For Android users, no new 5G SIM is required to access 5G SA; it works on both older SIM and eSIM after enabling the SA bands on the phone. However, Samsung users may need to wait for a Telus software update to enable the SA bands on their devices.

A Telus spokesperson confirmed with iPhone in Canada the standalone 5G rollout was indeed happening.

“At Telus, we are committed to building world-class networks with the latest technology. Our 5G standalone service is an integral part of enabling amazing social and business outcomes through greater connectivity for devices; enhanced privacy and security features; and faster data speeds,” said the spokesperson.

“As part of our initial launch phase, we have started rolling out 5G standalone in several markets with more to follow. Over time, Telus’ 5G standalone service will provide an accessible platform to enable more use cases across the country,” confirmed the Telus spokesperson.

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