How to use the new super-fast 5G networks from AT&T and Verizon

25th January, 2022.      //   Technology  // 

With the launch of Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (Tnew )’s C-band 5G networks earlier this week, many mobile device users in the United States now have access to lightning-fast internet connections.
Over the last three years, telecom providers have built out 5G networks in a variety of areas across the country, but many of them have only given a level of service that is comparable to that of 4G. C-band 5G networks, which are an important group of higher radio frequencies, have now been activated by AT&T (T), which owns CNN’s parent company, as well as Verizon. These networks will revolutionize the internet as we know it, allowing consumers to watch a Netflix video in 4K resolution or download a movie in a matter of seconds, for example. (C-band speeds, according to Verizon, are roughly one gigabyte per second, which is about ten times faster than 4G LTE.)

But not everyone will be able to take advantage of these C-band 5G networks out of the gate. You’ll need three key things to access one: a newer smartphone model that supports 5G, a 5G-specific cellular plan and to be in an area with the new coverage.
Here’s what you need to know:

Is my phone a good fit?
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, the Samsung Galaxy S21 line, and, soon, Google’s Pixel 6 phones are among the devices that are compatible with their new C-band 5G networks. (Visit the websites of AT&T and Verizon for a complete list of C-band compatible devices.)

If you’re using an Android phone, go to Settings, Network and Internet, and then Mobile Network to see which network your phone supports. Open Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data Options on iOS. On iOS, if you’re using a dual SIM, go to Settings, then Cellular, and adjust the parameters for the number you want to change.

But if you haven’t bought a new smartphone in the past two years, you most likely have a 3G or 4G phone.
It’s only a matter of time before most new phones come with built-in 5G support, as manufacturers and carriers will push customers toward it over other networks. (AT&T plans to shut down its 3G network next month, Verizon is shutting down its 3G network by the end of the year and T-Mobile will shut down Sprint’s 3G network by March 31.)

Has my current cellphone plan expired?
To use the speedier C-band network, you’ll still need a 5G-specific plan if you have a 5G device. Existing 5G subscribers will be able to do so for free. For each phone line, both AT&T and Verizon have monthly plans that start at $35. For its C-band network, Verizon also launched a 5G residential internet subscription that starts at $50 per month.

Where are the networks in the C-band?
You may not be able to access the new higher-speed 5G network even if you have a 5G-capable smartphone and a 5G mobile subscription. Only eight metro areas, including Chicago, Houston, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Miami, Jacksonville, and Orlando, have access to AT&T’s new C-band 5G network, which it is branding the 5G+ network. This year, the business stated it will expand to other locations in the United States, most likely in those where it has previously introduced 5G in other bands in other cities.

Anyone with a 5G-compatible phone will be able to download the latest mobile operating system to gain access to the network. On AT&T’s network, anyone in a 5G+ market will see a “5G+” at the top of the device when the network is available.

In the meantime, Verizon has announced that its new 5G Ultra Wideband network will be available to 100 million more people in over 1,700 cities across the United States this month, including Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, New York City, and even smaller towns like Dayton, Ohio, and Rochester, New York, among others. Verizon’s website provides a coverage map that will help you check if service is available in your area.
When a 5G phone on one of the plans is discovered on the network, a “5G UW” indicator will display in the device’s top right corner.

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