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Google Fi already using T-Mobile’s 5G network on supported phones

Last February, Google announced an expansion of its MVNO partnership with Sprint to include 5G. Google Fi now looks to already be leveraging T-Mobile’s 5G network on devices like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Andrew Martonik of Android Central today noticed a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra on Google Fi taking advantage of T-Mobile’s 5G network in New York City. As confirmed by the cellular indicator in the status bar, subsequent speed tests show download speeds of over 135Mbps and uploads of around 42Mbps.

The “Mobile networks” page in system settings also allows the “5G/LTE/3G/2G (auto connect)” option to be selected.

A follow-up tweet notes how the device’s diagnostic screen reports connectivity on Band N261. Millimeter wave is officially listed as being available in “pockets of select cities” by the carrier, with Google having yet to detail a specific 5G arrangement.

However, it looks to work seamlessly even on “Compatible with Fi” phones that don’t switch networks automatically and just use T-Mobile. Last June, carrier executives pledged to continue supporting MVNOs following the merger with Sprint.

Meanwhile, Sprint last year confirmed how “5G compatible Designed for Fi phones in a 5G coverage area will be automatically connected to the network.” The end user experience was touted as being identical to today’s network on Pixel and other certified devices.

More about Google Fi:

  • Fi SIM cards are now available at Amazon
  • Google Fi brings Wi-Fi calling, VPN, spam warnings to non-Pixel phones
  • Google courting travelers by selling Fi SIM cards in airport vending machines

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