Want Verizon’s new 5G network on Jan. 19? You’ll want to have one of these phones – CNET
After a two-week delay, Verizon’s next big 5G upgrade is happening on Jan. 19. While there still is some time until that happens, more details are coming out about exactly which devices you will need to tap into the improved 5G connection.
Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer, told CNET on Tuesday that by the time the network turns on in two weeks “we estimate will be upwards of 90%” of its 5G user base will be ready to tap into the C-band network.
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“A lot of devices already have the right software in it,” Malady says. “We’ve been done testing the devices, we’ve been working with the manufacturers for a long time now so all the software is ready to go.”
Among the early list of ready devices are:
- Apple’s iPhone 12 line
- Apple’s iPhone 13 line
- Samsung’s Galaxy S21 line
- Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3
- Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3
Apple iPads with 5G (the iPad Pro and iPad Mini) will also be ready to use the new network when it goes live.
Verizon spent over $50 billion last year to purchase the C-band spectrum. Verizon’s current 5G network relies on a combination of 5G technologies known as millimeter-wave and low-band spectrum. Millimeter-wave has excellent performance but significantly limited coverage that often is only available on certain street corners or select parts of stadiums, airports or arenas. Low-band offers strong coverage but its performance is often equivalent to 4G LTE.
With the addition of C-band Verizon will be able to add a 5G network that operates in the middle: bringing much faster performance than low-band 5G while offering significantly better coverage than millimeter-wave.
On Tuesday the carrier said that it will cover 100 million people with the new C-band network, which will operate alongside millimeter-wave under its “Ultra Wideband” branding, when it goes live on Jan. 19.
A Verizon spokesperson says that other phones, such as Google’s Pixel 6 line, will “receive software updates to enable C-band access in the coming weeks.” The spokesperson adds that “going forward every 5G device Verizon sells to postpaid customers will be C-band compatible and we will have more than 20 C-band compatible devices by the end of the year.”
While it is important to have the right device, Verizon also requires that those planning to use C-band or its millimeter-wave network subscribe to its higher-priced unlimited plans. This includes the Play More, Do More and Get More options available today as well as the older Above and Beyond unlimited plans it offered a few years ago.
Those on other plans will not be able to use C-band even if they have a device that supports it.
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January 4, 2022 at 03:30PM