Quick Summary of 5G News Stories:
- T-Mobile Adds Almost 200 More Cities To Their Coverage Area For iPhone 12 5G Users
- Verizon Adds 4 Major Cities To Their 5G Home Internet Coverage Area
- What Speeds Can We Expect From the Apple iPhone 12 5G?
- New Study Reveals 14 Countries Have Faster 5G Speeds Than The US
1. T-Mobile Adds Almost 200 More Cities To Their Coverage Area For iPhone 12 5G Users
iPhone 12 preorders are racking up. Many authorities suspect that a growing excitement for 5G is playing a big role in its pre-release popularity. Truthfully, this was predicted. And things are really starting to ramp up where 5G coverage area is concerned. Major networks are doing everything they can to make the new technology available in as many areas as possible.
As expected, T-Mobile continues to lead the way in the 5G arena. On October 28, they announced an almost 200-city expansion in their iPhone 12 mid-band 5G coverage. This is exciting and impressive given the fact that just one month earlier, on September 29, they added 121 new cities. Adding the two announcements together, T-Mobile is well in lead in the 5G coverage race with over 400 cities. And they aren’t done yet. T-Mobile plans to “cover 100 million people by the end of the year.”
In the blog post, they state that average download speeds are testing at around 300 Mbps. For perspective, compared to current 4G LTE averages, this is 7.5x faster. They even say that peak download speeds have reached 1 Gbps.
Though T-Mobile certainly has the largest 5G network thus far, Verizon (as of this writing) has the fastest speeds. This is due to the fact that not only have they rolled out mid- and-low band 5G, but they’ve also rolled out mmWave 5G. Remember, though, that the range of mmWave 5G compared to mid- and low-band is much shorter.
List of cities recently added to T-Mobile’s 5G network:
Arkansas: North Little Rock
California: Azusa, Baldwin Park, Florence-Graham, Garden Grove, Monrovia, Norwalk, Ontario, Temple City, Walnut Park, West Carson
Connecticut: New Haven
Florida: East Lake-Orient Park, Elfers, Inwood, Longwood, Minneola, New Port Richey, Nokomis, Oak Ridge, Port Richey, Sky Lake, Venice, Zephyrhills
Georgia: Dallas, Grayson, Johns Creek, Newnan, Riverdale, Smyrna
Illinois: Arlington Heights, Aurora, Batavia, Bloomington, Bridgeview, Champaign, Channahon, Cicero, Dolton, Elgin, Elk, Grove Village, Granite City, Lansing, Lemont, Maywood, Mount, Prospect, Naperville, Niles, Norridge, Oak Lawn, Pekin, Richton Park, Schaumburg, South Chicago Heights, Urbana, Waukegan
Indiana: Evansville, Greenwood, Hammond, Indianapolis City, Lawrence
Kansas: Overland Park, Pittsburg, Wichita
Maryland: Crofton, Largo, Maryland City, Middle River, Severn, Urbana
Michigan: Center Line, Clinton, Eastpointe, Inkster, Warren
Minnesota: Columbia Heights, Elk River, Hilltop
Missouri: Carthage, Charlack, Clayton, Columbia, Foristell, Kirkwood, Lake Mykee Town, New Bloomfield, Raytown, St. Louis, University City
New Jersey: Brooklawn, Dover, East Newark, East Orange, Elizabeth, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Guttenberg, Hoboken, Interlaken, Kearny, Linden, Morristown, Newark, Pine Hill, Pine Valley, Rutherford, Secaucus, Somerville, Union City, Wanamassa, West New York, Wharton
New York: Babylon, Central Islip, Green Island, Troy, West Babylon
North Carolina: Apex, Asheville, Charlotte, Concord, Hendersonville, Valley Hill, Vanceboro, Youngsville
Ohio: Avalon, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Columbus, Hamilton, Hanover, Lancaster, London, McKees Rocks, Monroe, Rossmoyne
Oklahoma: Choctaw, Del City, Smith Village
Pennsylvania: Aldan, Aliquippa, Allentown, Arnold, Beaver, Bellmawr, Bethlehem, Blawnox, Brackenridge, Bridgewater
Bryn Mawr, Chester, Folsom, Munhall, New Kensington, Ridley Park, Rutledge, Tarentum, Upland, Verona, Whitaker
Youngstown, Rhode Island, Woonsocket, South Carolina, Goose Creek, Sangaree
Tennessee: Berry Hill, Franklin, Hendersonville, Knoxville, Maryville
Texas: Bacliff, Cloverleaf, Fifth Street, Jacinto City, La Porte, Shenandoah, South Houston, Stafford
Virginia: Brambleton, Broadlands, Falls Church, Hampton, Herndon, Loudoun Valley Estates, Manassas, Manassas Park, Merrifield, Richmond, Springfield, Yorkshire
Washington: Burien, Monroe
Wisconsin: Beloit, Milwaukee, Neenah, South Milwaukee, West Allis
2. Verizon Adds 4 Major Cities To Their 5G Home Internet Coverage Area
Verizon has been pushing and perfecting their 5G home internet service for some time, starting tests back in 2018. In recent 5G news, they announced on Oct 29, 2020 that they’ve now added 4 new major cities to their coverage area (Denver, Dallas, San Jose, and Atlanta), bringing their market total to 12. Before this news, Verizon’s 5G internet service is already available in 6 airports, 19 stadiums, and 19 other cities, all in the US.
Their announcement says Nov 5 is the rollout date for these cities. Here’s the full list of cities where Verizon’s 5G home internet will now be available:
St. Paul, San Jose, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Houston, Detroit, Denver, Dalls, Chicago, Atlanta.
Verizon’s 5G home internet is self-installed. If you’re an existing Verizon customer, monthly rates start as low as $50 per month. You can still get the service if you’re not with Verizon for $70 per month.
3. What Speeds Can We Expect From the Apple iPhone 12 5G?
In mid-October, Apple unveiled for the first time its 5G-compatible smartphones. In theory, the speeds should be able to reach 10-to-100 times faster than the 4G LTE that we’re used to. The truth is, however, that in these early stages we shouldn’t get our hopes up regarding these numbers.
Just because 5G news has declared available service in a particular area doesn’t necessarily mean that all iPhone 12 users will automatically experience maximum speeds. Even though the 5G rollout has begun, there are still improvements to be made by telecom companies.
5G Speeds Vary
The three big US providers – T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T – aren’t all using the same approach to their 5G future, even though they’re all spending billions of dollars on it.
Verizon & AT&T
For example, Verizon and AT&T are each rolling out two different kinds of 5G. One, for instance, uses the same airwave bands that cell phones have been using since the beginning. These are lower bands that can reach long distances, which obviously is great. The issue with this is that all 4G users are already using these airwave bands. In other words, they’re crowded. And this means spare capacity is in very short supply. In some areas where 5G is available, the new network isn’t much faster (sometimes even slower) than 4G LTE.
The other iteration of 5G being utilized uses millimeter wave bands. These are much higher-frequency bands that historically have not been used for cell phones. Millimeter wave bands are characterized by fast speeds and are capable of handling large amounts of data. The downside is that they can’t travel very far. This is why, as of now, only parts of 50-60 cities are covered.
T-Mobile’s approach to 5G has been a bit more multi-faceted. They’ve made millimeter wave 5G available in a few cities in addition to their main nationwide low-band network. But T-Mobile’s advantage over their competitors comes in the form of their recent merger with Sprint. One result of the merger was acquiring extra mid-band frequency airwaves. This has provided T-Mobile with better speed and overall balance. These extra airwaves is one of the reasons why T-Mobile has said they hope to reach 100,000,000 people with their 5G coverage by the end of 2020. They certainly have the capability to make that happen.
Later this year, more mid-band spectrum will be auctioned by the federal government. If Verizon & AT&T are able to win some of these licenses (which will certainly make 5G news headlines), it would increase their ability to catch up to T-Mobile. Unless they’re able to do this, T-Mobile will almost certainly remain in front.
So How Fast Will the iPhone 12 5G Be?
The honest answer is that it will depend. It’ll depend largely on what network you use. If you’re on a low-band 5G network, it’s possible you could experience 50-100 Mbps. This is comparable to 4G. At these speeds, you could download an album of music instantly, or an HD movie in 5-10 minutes. On a mid-band 5G network like T-Mobile’s, an HD movie could download in only 1-2 minutes. And on a mmWave 5G network, an HD movie would take just a few seconds to download.
Real-time, multiplayer video games on the iPhone 12 are expected to be incredible. Popular games like Fortnite (not yet available in the iPhone App Store) and League of Legends, for example, will be experienced with less lag and heightened connectivity. One of the problems that gamers consistently voice is that when some players are on home internet connections and other players are on cellular networks, the lag is considerable. 5G aims to eliminate this issue, and the iPhone 12 is part of that. Low-latency is a main selling point of 5G.
Looking even further into the future, 5G aims to have a big effect on video conferencing and real-time, virtual reality gaming. The speeds of 5G will allow for hyper-realistic environments beyond what we’re used to. Apple also hopes to incorporate other data-intensive ideas in other fields like architecture and medicine. Architectural building mock-ups with augmented reality being sent via smartphone, or hyper HD medical scans being sent by doctors from their phones. The iPhone 12 intends to be one of the first devices that makes all of these things possible.
Don’t be disappointed when you get an iPhone 12 and all the capabilities we just talked about aren’t happening for you. As we said previously, 5G networks are still a work in progress. Depending on your network and your geographical location, speeds on the iPhone 12 will most certainly vary.
4. New Study Reveals 14 Countries Have Faster 5G Speeds Than The US
Though the level of excitement surrounding 5G continues to increase, many country’s deployment efforts have thus far been uneven and slow, including the US. In fact, as of this writing, 5G in America isn’t anywhere near the fastest in the world.
In a revealing 5G news release, Open Signal conducted a 3-month study (July-Sept 2020) on current 5G speeds around the world. Sadly, US speeds were found wanting in comparison to other world 5G markets.
The following major 5G markets were tested: Saudi Arabia, United States, United Kingdom, Thailand, Taiwan, Switzerland, South Korea, Spain, Netherlands, Kuwait, Italy, Hong Kong, Germany, Canada, and Australia. Saudi Arabia came in first with an average speed of 377.2 Mbps. Second was South Korea at 336.1 Mbps. Australia was third at 214.8 Mbps. The US ended up 14th at just 52 Mbps.
Despite America’s lackluster placement in the study, it’s worth noting that 52 Mbps is still 1.8 times faster than the 4G we’re used to in the US. That being said, these numbers aren’t something to write home about. Kuwait’s 5G speeds are 12.5 times faster than 4G. Thailand’s are 15.7 times faster. Even Switzerland, Canada, and South Korea have speeds at least 3 times faster than 4G LTE.
However, there is some good 5G news for the US. Compared to other countries, US callers are experiencing 5G much more often. 21.4% of the time, in fact. This puts the United States in 6th place where this metric is concerned.
What’s the takeaway from this information?
American networks have a much farther 5G reach compared to other countries with faster speeds. Despite poor speed performance thus far, the US will be in a very good position once 5G improves. If current trajectories continue, the US will almost certainly outperform the availability and speed of other countries given time. Future 5G news will likely announce the US overtaking the speeds of some of these countries mentioned in the study.
5G News Update (Oct 2020): 4 Recent Breaking News Stories Recapped – Conclusion
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