[Update: Restored] Latest iOS 14.5 beta 5 update removes T-Mobile 5G Standalone (SA) option in iPhone 12, as per some user reports

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on March 24, 2021) follows:

T-Mobile unveiled its Standalone (SA) 5G network in August 2020 just ahead of Apple’s launch of its first ever 5G-capable smartphone the following month — the iPhone 12 series.

The Un-carrier noted that with 5G SA, it would “massively expand its 5G footprint” while at the same time bring “next‑gen connectivity to more places while paving the way for future groundbreaking applications.”

T-Mobile-5G-for-all

But for some reason, the iPhone 12 still didn’t support T-Mobile 5G SA out of the box. In fact, several other phones have had to be updated with software in order to enable 5G SA.

We recently saw the Google Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 gain support for 5G SA on T-Mobile with the February 2021 security update.

A month or so ago, the iPhone 12 also got updated to support T-Mobile 5G SA, but this was for those in the ongoing iOS 14.5 beta testing program.

Latest iOS beta 14.5 activates TMO NR SA

iOS-14.5-beta-5G-SA-T-Mobile
(Source)

As you can see from the screenshot above, enabling 5G SA means that all cellular activities will be locked to 5G alone.

This also means that no relying on 4G LTE to deliver cellular services like 5G NSA (Non-Standalone) does. However, out of nowhere, the latest iOS 14.5 beta update has now removed this option.

The same Redditor who broke the news when a previous iOS 14.5 beta enabled 5G SA on T-Mobile has once again dropped another update on the matter, this time not good news.

Latest iOS beta removes SA option 😣

 iOS-14.5-beta-T-Mobile-5G-Standalone
(Source)

Apparently, the T-Mobile 5G SA option is gone in iOS 14.5 beta 5 without any notice. As a result, affected users are already coming up with possible theories to explain this new development.

It’s automatic now. On mine it goes to SA automatically now.

Can confirm, I’m on the latest 14.5 Public Beta 5 and just recently my iPhone switched to NR SA but then went back to NSA. Seems like NSA is the primary connection and NR will take over if NSA is non available. So, Apple removing the toggle could be either a bug and might return with the next beta, or they just decided to make it available always as part of the overall 5G connection and the option is no longer necessary.

As you can see in the comments above, some claim the option was removed because the network switching now happens automatically, with 5G SA the preferred option.

Another Redditor has a list of possible scenarios that could be at play here:

1. Changed their minds where they’ll rely on network preference as in NSA first and then SA (to test this we’d have to see people on the latest beta report a connection to 5G SA) which as a result, means they no longer need the toggle. (Most likely)

2. A bug removing the toggle, still worth reporting it through Feedback Assistant and possibly get an answer that way.

3. They noticed issues and then removed 5G SA from 14.5 for now. (Least likely)

Up until now, there’s no clarity as to why this could have happened. But then again, this is beta software, so such quirks are expected with each iteration.

That said, this could possibly be one of those little things that bypassed the developer team and will make a comeback in a future beta or probably stable iOS 14.5 version.

Update (April 28, 2021)

According to President of Technology at T-Mobile, the latest iOS 14.5 stable update enables standalone (SA) 5G on the iPhone 12 series.

T-Mobile-5G-SA-iOS-14.5
(Source)

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.