What is C-band 5G? Verizon and AT&T are flipping on the switch in the US

While telecom corporations have rolled out 5G networks to numerous areas throughout the nation over the previous few years, many delivered an expertise that was arguably solely a notch above what 4G provides. Now, AT&T (T), which owns NCS’s mum or dad firm, and Verizon have turned on C-band 5G networks, that are an necessary set of upper radio frequencies. These networks will supercharge the web as we all know it, permitting customers to, for instance, stream a Netflix film in 4K decision or download a movie in seconds. (Verizon stated its C-band speeds attain almost 1 gigabyte per second, about 10 occasions as quick as 4G LTE. If that is not apparent, it is actually quick.)

But not everybody will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of these C-band 5G networks out of the gate. You’ll want three key issues to access one: a more recent smartphone mannequin that helps 5G, a 5G-specific mobile plan and to be in an space with the brand new protection.

AT&T and Verizon have a handful of units which might be appropriate with their new C-band 5G networks, together with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 fashions, the Samsung Galaxy S21 line and, quickly, Google’s Pixel 6 telephones. (For a full checklist of C-band appropriate units, go to AT&T and Verizon’s web sites.)

What is C-band 5G? Verizon and AT&T are flipping on the switch in the US
If you are on an Android machine, you possibly can examine which community your telephone helps by going to Settings, tapping on Network and Internet, and then deciding on Mobile Network. On iOS, open Settings, then Cellular and faucet Cellular Data Options. If you are utilizing Dual SIM on iOS, go to Settings, then Cellular and select the quantity whose choices you need to change.

But if you have not purchased a brand new smartphone prior to now two years, you probably have a 3G or 4G telephone.

It’s solely a matter of time earlier than most new telephones include built-in 5G help, as producers and carriers will push customers towards it over different networks. (AT&T plans to shut down its 3G community subsequent month, Verizon is shutting down its 3G community by the tip of the 12 months and T-Mobile will shut down Sprint’s 3G community by March 31.)

Do I would like a brand new mobile plan?

If you personal a 5G machine, you may nonetheless want a 5G-specific plan to access the quicker C-band community. Existing 5G subscribers can achieve this with out a further cost. Both AT&T and Verizon provide plans that begin at $35 a month for every telephone line.

Verizon additionally introduced a 5G home internet plan for its C-band community, beginning at $50 a month.

Where are the C-band networks?

Even when you’ve got a 5G-capable machine and a 5G cellular plan you is probably not ready to access the brand new higher-speed 5G community.

AT&T’s new C-band 5G community — which it’s calling the 5G+ network — is presently solely out there in eight metro areas, together with Chicago, Houston, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando. The firm stated it is going to develop to extra cities all year long, almost certainly in cities the place it has already launched 5G in different bands.

Anyone with a 5G-compatible telephone can be ready to obtain the newest cellular working system to acquire access to the community. On AT&T’s community, anybody in a 5G+ market will see a “5G+” on the high of the machine when the community is obtainable.

Meanwhile, Verizon stated its new 5G Ultra Wideband network can be out there to 100 million extra individuals this month in over 1,700 US cities, together with Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, New York City and even smaller cities comparable to Dayton, Ohio, and Rochester, New York. To see if service is in your space, Verizon’s web site has a coverage map.

A “5G UW” indicator will seem on the highest proper nook of the machine when a 5G telephone on one of many plans is detected on the community.