Verizon today announced expansions of their 5G service in several big cities. Beginning January 14, customers in parts of Arlington, TX; Miami, FL; Anaheim, CA; San Francisco, CA and St. Louis, MO can sign up for Verizon’s 5G Home Internet, with Phoenix, AZ to follow on January 28. Additionally, later this month, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service will become available in parts of Colorado Springs, CO; Columbia, SC and Knoxville, TN.
“We ended 2020 with 2,700 cities with Nationwide 5G service serving 230 million people, 61 cities with Ultra Wideband service, and 12 cities with access to our 5G Home service; and we’re not slowing down,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer for Verizon. “We’re rolling out new services to more customers continuing the digital transformation Verizon has been driving.”
Verizon 5G Home Internet requires equipment specific to that service, while the 5G Ultra Wideband service will work on any of the 28 5G-capable phones and devices offered by Verizon.
T-Mobile and OnePlus have teamed up to launch a $300 5G phone, the Nord N10 5G. T-Mobile will be the exclusive US carrier for the N10, and it will be available to Metro prepaid users as well. At $300 with no promos or trade-ins needed, the N10 is T-Mobile’s most affordable 5G phone, even cheaper than the $400 Revvel 5G that debuted last year.
Unlocked versions of the N10 5G and the N100 LTE-only version will be available from OnePlus directly as well as at Best Buy, Amazon and B&H Photo Video, but Nord N10 5G will only support 5G on T-Mobile’s network.
The Nord N10 5G features a 6.49-inch 90Hz display at full HD Plus resolution and a 4,300-mAh battery. It runs on a Snapdragon 690 processor and supports 5G connectivity on T-Mobile’s low-band and midband network, which the carrier calls “Extended Range 5G” and “Ultra Capacity 5G.”
After complaints from Verizon about a T-Mobile ad featuring Bill Nye in which T-Mobile 5G reliability is purported to be better than other carriers’, the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) asked them to stop advertising along those lines.
The ad features Nye explaining that Verizon’s 5G coverage, because it’s based on mmWave technology, has such poor range it can’t cover anything beyond the range the size of a bus stop. “Other carriers have 5G signals that drop if you move two feet. That’s because their 5G is based around millimeter wave, otherwise known as high band. For instance this is how far 5G reaches with our carriers,” Nye says in the ad, showing a small circle around a bus stop.
The NARB says T-Mobile should “discontinue claims and an accompanying demonstration that imply that other carriers’ 5G coverage is so limited in any area as to cover only the space taken up by a single bench.” The board also recommended T-Mobile “discontinue claims that imply that its 5G service is generally available in locations that have traditionally been challenging for cellular service,” and that they cannot imply that their 5G coverage is more reliable than 4G coverage.
The NARB’s recommendations are not requirements – they are a self-regulatory body with no governmental regulatory power. T-Mobile’s compliance is notable because carriers can opt to ignore the recommendations. AT&T went this route when requested to stop using its misleading “5G E” indicator added to customers’ phones earlier this year, which actually refers to their upgraded 4G network and is not 5G service.
LG’s popular mid-range Stylo series, which boasts a stylus and classic design, is rumored to soon see a 5G model added to its lineup. @OnLeaks revealed the first leak of the LG Stylo 7, including details that point to two versions being available: one with LTE-only and one with 5G.
Per the rumors, the Stylo 7 will look similar to the OnePlus Nord, with a vertical rear camera module and 6.8″ display. It is assumed that the two versions – LTE and 5G – will be essentially comparable, aside from a more powerful processor in the 5G phone. And of course, it’s almost certain there will be a premium to pay for the 5G version while the LTE model will likely be priced similarly to other Stylos.
iPhone 12 users in New York City have reported that, counter-intuitively, speeds when their phone indicates they’re using 5G are often slower than 4G LTE. The reason for this is because in order to provide more “5G” coverage, Verizon uses a method called dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) which reuses parts of 4G channels for 5G. That allows 5G devices to connect in more places, but the performance is typically no better – and often it’s worse – than 4G LTE alone.
Verizon spokespeople have confirmed that using DSS provides no real advantages over LTE: “For most customers, performance on our 5G nationwide network will be similar to 4G. [DSS] is new technology and we’re continuing to modify it as we go. We expect performance improvement through 2021 and beyond,”
Since the iPhone 12 prioritizes 5G over 4G, if it detects a 5G signal – even if it’s really just DSS – it will automatically use that network, even though in the real world users would often be better off sticking with LTE.
If you’re in an area where 5G doesn’t seem to be any faster than LTE, you can test by turning 5G off/on and comparing speedtests. If LTE is better, you can leave 5G off until the network improves.
How to turn 5G on/off on iPhone 12:
Go to settings
Tap Cellular, then Cellular Data Options, then Voice & Data
5G Auto is the default. Choose 5G On to use it anytime it’s available, or LTE to turn off 5G.
The Federal Communications Commission’s auction for spectrum licenses on the C-Band, a mid-band spectrum between 3.7 and 4GHz, has been going on for three weeks now, and bidding as reached a record $66.4 billion. Experts agree that mid-band frequencies are critical for 5G usability, since they can provide both improved speeds vs 4G LTE while also providing better coverage than the superfast but extremely limited millimeter wave bands used by Verizon and AT&T.
The recent bids have far exceeded even the experts’ highest forecasts. The 5G is on hold now through the holidays, but will resume Jan. 4. The bidders and their bids are secret until the auction completes, but it is almost certain that AT&T and Verizon are among the top bidders.
“Mid-band spectrum will be where 5G lives,” said Walt Piecyk, a telecom analyst for research firm LightShed Partners, adding that T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint “clearly put pressure on Verizon and AT&T” to increase their frequency holdings to better compete.
The scoring of 5Gstore’s top products comes from a combination of their popularity as well as the number of customer reviews they received and the average rating customers gave the product. Many of this year’s winners, like the IP Switch (both the single outlet and dual outlet versions) and Pepwave Max BR1 Mini are perennial favorites and have appeared on our “best of” lists for years. Others, like the Pepwave Max Transit and Panorama WMMxG antennas are new to the list this year.
Congratulations to all of the manufacturers of our 2020 top products!
If you ordered any of these products (or any others!) from 5Gstore, don’t forget that you can log in at 5Gstore.com and write a review of your own. We post all reviews – good and bad – and always appreciate the feedback!
Allows you to remotely monitor and reboot your equipment via smartphone app or the cloud
“The EZ-62b IP auto-switch is a great little piece of hardware. It seems to work better than a previous model, the EZ-22b which was a little hit and miss. I’ve tested the EZ-62b extensively and for the money, I’m really impressed.”
“Does exactly what it’s supposed to. If only they could help with my kids!”
Allows you to remotely monitor and reboot up to two pieces of equipment via smartphone apporcloud
“It’s important to me to have my router power cycle while I’m away from home for extended periods of time. The Remote Power Switch provides the ability to set specific power cycle schedules to fit my request. It’s convenient to program the switch remotely via software.”
“This will save me alot of travel time having to reset everything.” read more reviews
Easy-to-use, feature-rich 3G/4G router for home and travel
“A solid business class router for a great price offering solid top notch software firmware”
“We are full timers in our motorhome and when we change from one place to another we have to reconnect all of our TV’s, printer, computers and several other items to the new WiFi. Now they are all connected to this router and we only have to connect the SURF which in turn makes everything else work.” read more reviews
Vehicle routers with 1 or 2 embedded modems (Cat 4, 6, 12, or 18) for failover or bonding
“If you’re serious about using cellular wifi and other WAN sources including WIFI as WAN, this is the device you need. With Primecare, you can use Speedfusion to bond your WANs for incredible bandwidth and reliability.” read more Transit and Duo reviews
“Excellent product which I purchased as an upgrade to my NetGear LB1120 for home Internet connectivity. All I can say is that I am extremely impressed with all the networking options available.” read more Transit Mini reviews
Powerful wall-mount antennas for 2×2 or 4×4 cellular/5G
“I am currently using this antenna in combination with a Pepwave MAX Transit Router With Cat 18 LTE Modem in my home office. I mounted the antenna to a pole outside, pointed it towards the correct cell tower and BAM!!! DL speed 90-96 Mbs, UL speed 45-50 Mbs. Very pleased!”
“This antenna provided 12 dB of improvement for my application. Yeah the antenna is only good for 9 dB gain, the rest must have come from raising it higher on the building to shoot over some trees. I’m very happy with the results, downloads of 40Mbit now (compared to 20Mbit before).” read more reviews
“Top-notch ultra-low power consumption product — the perfect replacement for the trusty Sierra Raven XE I’ve been using in my remote solar-powered surveillance system for the last 7 years. Bought this new Sierra model to upgrade the system from 3G to 4G.”
At the virtual Oppenheimer 5G Summit this week, T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray discussed the present and future of 5G. T-Mobile has made a big push to promote their “nationwide 5G” coverage, which Ray described as coverage in about 1.4 million square miles, a major difference between Verizon’s 400,000 square miles of 5G coverage and AT&T’s purported 600,000.
“Just between us and Verizon today, that’s a million square miles of coverage differential, so if you think about 5G coverage, the leadership … advantage that we put in place, it’s game on. Verizon has a lot of work ahead of them to catch us. And of course… I love that, because I chased that Verizon coverage map for much of my career.”
T-Mobile’s strategy of having 5G spectrum in low, mid and high bands has given them a distinct advantage over other carriers, allowing them to deliver on both speed and coverage. As Ray explained though, while the speeds on T-Mobile’s Extended Range low-band layer can be more than double the average LTE speeds, T-Mobile wants to improve on that by rolling out carrier aggregation in early 2021. This feature will aggregate T-Mobile’s low-band and mid-band layers together for improved speeds.
That technology will also help T-Mobile work towards offering voice over 5G, or VoNR, i.e. the ability to make voice calls over the 5G network. “we’re working really hard with our vendors,” said Ray. “We have voice on LTE. Why wouldn’t we have a solution on 5G that can offer voice services? We’ll probably be the first company that drives that.”
Today, T-Mobile launched its first dedicated hotspot for its 5G network: the Inseego M2000. The M2000 hotspot supports low and mid-band 5G as well as 7-band aggregation on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, for areas where 5G isn’t available, a combination of service T-Mobile is referring to as “Ultra Capacity”.
T-Mobile has several plan options for the new hotspot, including an amazing 100GB plan for $50, available “for a limited time” starting Dec. 13.
The M2000 is physically similar to the M2100, which has been available for Verizon. It features a touch screen on the front and a 5,000mAh removable battery, utilizes Wi-Fi 6, and supports up to 30 connected devices.
The auction for spectrum licenses on the C-Band, a mid-band spectrum between 3.7 and 4GHz, kicked off this week and as expected US carriers bid eagerly in hopes of utilizing the spectrum to vastly improve their 5G networks. Experts agree that mid-band frequencies are critical for 5G usability, since they can provide both improved speeds vs 4G LTE while also providing better coverage than the superfast but extremely limited millimeter wave bands used by Verizon and AT&T.
Day 1 of the auction generated more than $1.9 billion in gross proceeds. The auction offers 280-megahertz of spectrum, with 5,684 licenses available. After Round 2, the average nationwide price per MHz-POP was $0.022438, according to auction results tracking by BitPath COO Sasha Javid.
Wall Street firm MoffettNathanson emphasized just how critical the C-band auction is for carriers.
“Today opens what may be the most important wireless auction of our time. Who ‘wins’ the C-Band auction will shape the competitive dynamics of 5G for a decade,” wrote MoffettNathanson analysts.
The winners of the auction remain to be revealed, but Verizon secured $12.5 billion in financing ahead of the auction and is expected to be the most aggressive participant.