Verizon debuts nationwide sub-6GHz 5G network alongside iPhone 12 launch
Verizon is making a significant change to its 5G network today to coincide with the launch of the Apple iPhone 12. Apple’s latest iPhone is the first in the series to support 5G, providing Verizon with a good opportunity to flip the switch on its nationwide 5G network.
The U.S. carrier has lagged behind the competition in 5G coverage due to them using a millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G network, which is difficult to erect and offers short-range coverage. When it does work, however, it offers blazingly fast speeds. Verizon’s current mmWave network is called “5G Ultra Wideband” and is only available in parts of dozens of cities across the U.S., but the carrier’s new “5G Nationwide” sub-6GHz network is available in 1,800+ cities.
The new 5G Nationwide low-band network won’t offer the same performance as the 5G Ultra Wideband network, though. That’s because it makes use of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, a technology that allows carriers to shift existing 4G channels to 5G when they aren’t being used by 4G phones. As explained in 5G guide, DSS is basically a stop-gap measure to refarm existing 4G coverage for 5G, but the throughput pales in comparison to true standalone coverage.
Still, rolling out a more widely available 5G network alongside the new iPhone 12 is a great way to get people onboard with the new technology. But it’s going to take a lot of public education before people fully understand the benefits of 5G and where it’s available, especially with so many bands in the mix. While 5G isn’t particularly popular right now, partly due to availability, the launch of the 5G iPhone 12 will surely spur adoption.
The big three carriers in the U.S. have been working hard to roll out their 5G networks, and today there are more 5G devices than ever before. With the launch of the iPhone 12, we may see a larger effort from Verizon to attract people to its growing 5G network, allowing consumers to see what its mmWave 5G network is all about.
For a coverage map of Verizon’s 5G network, check out this page.