Verizon’s faster 5G speeds will be reserved for “premium” customers
It has happened: 5G has become mainstream. Or at least, sort of. While 5G is technically mainstream in the sense that the technology is available in most of the U.S. territory and the technology has already started trickling down from just flagships to mid-range and even budget devices, the technology still needs some maturing before we can say it’s truly, completely mainstream like 4G currently is. Speeds, for one, can still be a crapshoot, sometimes even to the point where it might be better to just use LTE. Verizon is guilty of this with their “nationwide” 5G network, and they’re about to offer faster 5G speeds, but this comes with a big if. Particularly, the fact that these faster speeds, brought over by C-band frequencies, will be limited to Verizon’s “premium” users, as reported by The Verge.
This means that, if you’re a Verizon user on one of the base-level unlimited plans and you were expecting C-band frequencies to go online so that you will get faster 5G speeds, then you will be sorely disappointed because this is not going to be available for you. Just like mmWave 5G, Verizon is treating access to C-band frequencies as a premium feature only available for customers on their Play More, Do More, and Get More Unlimited plan. If you’re on a lower unlimited plan, then you’re stuck with their DSS “nationwide” network. Customers on metered plans might not get access to this either, given that they currently don’t have access to mmWave 5G either.
It’s a bummer as it means that users on lower-end plans will not be able to enjoy 5G speeds that actually provide a tangible advancement over 4G. This is not to say that C-band frequencies will never come to base-level users, but right now, it won’t. Verizon might open it up to other users in the following months or years as they expand their infrastructure and it becomes easier and overall cheaper to operate as the technology becomes older. Right now, though? It’s going to remain as a premium feature.