Verizon’s high-band 5G service has far too many drawbacks to attract American customers

Verizon's high-band 5G service has far too many drawbacks to attract American customers

Tech Highlights:

  • T-Mobile’s 5G Triple Layer Cake – Verizon’s high-band 5G service has too many limitations to excite U.S. consumers
    T-Mobile’s 5G Triple Layer Cake. Analysts at research firm MoffettNathanson calculated that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service “currently accounts for just one-half of 1% of the time 5G users are connected.” EJL Wireless’ Lum surveyed 40 small cell mmWave sites in San Diego and 34 in nearby Chula Vista. He found that the average radius of these mmWave small cell sites was only 500 feet (and only when there was a direct line of sight to the radio with no obstructions).

  • We’ve discussed this before, but in case you missed it or forgot, most nationwide 5G networks use low-band frequencies. Because low-band signals travel farther and penetrate structures more effectively than mid- and low-band frequencies, this is the case. The only issue is that download data speeds aren’t substantially faster than 4G LTE on low-band. In the United States, T-Mobile is arguably the early 5G leader. T-Mobile has risen to the top of the 5G heap in the United States thanks to mid-band 5G. Mid-band signals go further than mmWave signals and create faster 5G communications than low-band signals. Although high-band mmWave signals only go a short distance and do not penetrate well, they provide the fastest and most reliable 5G download data streams.

Lum, talking about how obstruction can block high-band 5G signals, said, “Once you start going out into the real world where a building, a tree, whatever is going to shadow that signal, then all bets are off. You’re never going to get ubiquitous coverage. It just can’t ever be achieved because it would take so many sites to do.” Consumers picking up a 5G phone expecting to get fast 5G download speeds everywhere, all the time, are sure to be disappointed

Consumers who purchase a 5G phone and expect it to deliver 5G mmWave speed “will be severely disappointed in any of the cities that [they] go to,” Lum states. He tried everything to give Verizon the benefit of the doubt and even tried to improve the signal by pointing his phone directly at the tower. But the characteristics of 5G frequencies are what they are. Verizon and AT&T made the wrong move at first and only T-Mobile got it right. But that doesn’t mean that Verizon and AT&T can’t recover as we are still very early in the 5G game.
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Lum adds, “These beams only go so far because of the frequency band and your phone only has enough juice to go back to the network.” When the signal strength of that mmWave beam starts to weaken, phones automatically switch back to sub-6GHz (low and mid-band), something that Lum had to deal with often in San Diego. He said that in one case he walked 50 feet away from the cell and already dropped off the mmWave coverage.

Yea i have Google Fi which uses all of TMobiles 4G and 5G bands even their new mid band . And my work phone they provided us with a Verizon phone . The Verizon phone is slower here all over los angeles. And mmwave connectivity is horrible it literally only works while standing next to the nod. U literally take 2 steps and u loose mmwave connectivity and i fall back to their nationwide 5G which like i said it’s also very slow when compared to TMobile . I still can’t believe my Google Fi phone works a lot better and gets a faster data signal inside buildings. My cousin has at&t and here in LA it’s better than Verizon also and faster .

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