With Apple set to introduce its first 5G iPhones this coming Tuesday, U.S. consumers might have to make a big time decision about switching carriers after purchasing one of the new models. That’s because there are two different types of 5G signals. Sub-6GHz 5G is delivered over low and mid frequency bands, travels over long distances, and penetrates structures. The issue with Sub-6GHz is that it does not produce the blazing fast download data speeds that many consumers are looking forward to. Those speeds are available with the mmWave high-frequency bands. Unfortunately, mmWave airwaves do not travel long distances nor do they easily penetrate buildings.
Rural Americans might have to switch carriers to receive 5G service
According to New Street research
, Verizon has the fastest 5G data speeds in the states thanks to its focus on mmWave signals. New Street estimates Verizon’s average 5G data speed at 500Mbps. But thanks to mmWave’s small footprint, Verizon’s fastest 5G coverage in the states is available in only 36 cities (.5% of the country). T-Mobile can deliver 300Mbps 5G to about 33% of the U.S. with 50 to 60 Mbps speeds elsewhere. And the research firm says that AT&T can deliver 60Mbps 5G speeds nationwide.
Some U.S. mobile customers might need to switch carriers in order to receive 5G service
We are in the early days of 5G in the states, and eventually all three major carriers will use some combination of low, mid-band, and high-band signals to give users the 5G experience that they have been hoping for. Thanks to the 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum it acquired in the Sprint transaction, many analysts see T-Mobile eventually becoming the 5G Speed King in the U.S. New Street’s Jonathan Chapli says, “It will take years for AT&T and Verizon to close the network performance gap with T-Mobile. At least two years, and maybe 4. That is a long time, in wireless land.
At this point, we don’t know for sure which iPhone 12 models, if any, will be compatible with mmWave 5G. Apple might limit mmWave support to the top-of-the-line iPhone 12 Pro Max. Those in rural areas of the U.S. who want 5G service could be forced to switch their account to T-Mobile. The aforementioned 2.5GHz spectrum T-Mobile picked up from Sprint is widely used by rural Americans and both AT&T and Verizon are not equipped to bring 5G to this area of the country.
Apple’s“Hi, Speed” virtual event will be held this coming Tuesday October 13th starting at 1 pm EDT (10 am PDT). Four 5G iPhone 12 models are expected to be introduced including the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. All four models will be powered by the 5nm A14 Bionic chipset and while the basic iPhone models will have 4GB of memory, the “Pro” models will feature 6GB of RAM. The “Pro” models will also have three cameras on the back along with the LiDAR Time-of-Flight depth sensor.
According to a tipster who posted the information on Weibo, the two iPhone models sporting a 6.1-inch screen, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, will be up for pre-orders on October 16th with a release date of October 23rd. The iPhone 12 mini, according to this tipster, will begin pre-orders on November 6th and launch on November 13th. And the iPhone 12 Pro Max will supposedly keep you waiting until November 13th before you can reserve a unit. The launch would then occur on November 20th.
It will be interesting to see whether U.S. consumers switch their wireless providers in order to align themselves with faster or more reliable 5G service. To reiterate, those who live in rural America might have to subscribe to T-Mobile in order to receive 5G service.