Yes, your 5G iPhone supports new C-band service from AT&T and Verizon

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5G iPhone
C-band 5G is here, and it’s available on every 5G iPhone and iPad.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Both AT&T and Verizon began rolling out a new 5G version on Wednesday. And getting access via C-band doesn’t require getting a new iPhone. If your iOS device supports 5G, it can use the new version.

The same goes for iPad. If it has built-in 5G, it supports C-band.

AT&T and Verizon agree to put 5G expansion plans on hold

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AT&T and Verizon postpone 5G expansion
The FAA is worried 5G will interfere with pilot systems.
Photo: Philip Myrtorp/Unsplash

AT&T and Verizon have agreed to postpone major 5G expansion plans at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Both carriers initially rejected a delay. They argued that it would be “an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks.” But statements released Monday evening confirm they changed their minds.

Surprise, T-Mobile blows away the competition in 5G speeds

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T-Mobile 5G service
T-Mobile leapt ahead of its competition in 5G.
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is the carrier to go to for the fastest 5G speeds. A cross-country study of cellular data by PCMag found that AT&T and Verizon couldn’t match their rival’s average download speed. Not even close.

Lots of people bought an iPhone 12 for the 5G. And T-Mobile the carrier that lets users get the most benefit from it.

Why you shouldn’t expect too much from 5G on iPhone 12

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Tim Cook seems really excited about 5G. Should you be?
Tim Cook seems really excited about 5G. Should you be?
Photo: Apple

One of the biggest reasons to upgrade to iPhone 12 this year is for its 5G connectivity. It promises to be significantly faster than the 4G networks we’ve become accustomed to, making things like mobile gaming, content streaming, web browsing — basically everything you do online — better than ever.

You should be excited, but not too excited. 5G can be as spectacular as Apple led us to believe during this week’s iPhone 12 unveiling … but only if you can get good 5G coverage — and the right kind of 5G connection.

Allow us to explain what you need to know about 5G.

iPhone 12 costs extra for T-Mobile/Sprint customers [UPDATED]

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iPhone 12 pricing is lower for Verizon and AT&T customers.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini come with a “T-Mobile Tax.”
Photo: Apple

UPDATE: Apple lowered the iPhone 12 price for T-Mobile/Sprint subscribers on Friday.

 


The prices Apple promotes for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini aren’t for everyone. Subscribers to T-Mobile/Sprint must pay $30 more. The same goes for anyone who wants an unlocked unit.

This isn’t the case for the iPhone 12 Pro series.

AT&T takes 5G nationwide, greasing the skids for a super-fast iPhone

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AT&T 5G expended by 40 markets on Thursday
AT&T 5G coverage is now available for a majority of Americans.
Photo: AT&T

AT&T’s 5G network expanded to cover 395 markets in the United States on Thursday. Which is coverage for 205 million current and potential customers. That puts the telecom close to T-Mobile in 5G coverage area, and well ahead of Verizon.

So at least some US carriers will be ready for the 5G iPhone if it debuts in a few months, as expected.

Verizon or T-Mobile might be best option for your 5G iPhone

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T-Mobile 5G service
T-Mobile offers 5G in more areas than any of its rivals. But Verizon is faster.
Photo: T-Mobile

It’s not too soon to pick out the best 5G network for your 5G iPhone. And right now, there are two top contenders, according to testing dozen by an analytics firm. Verizon offers the fastest download speeds by a wide margin. And T-Mobile offers 5G in a much broader area.

But AT&T is in there swinging too.

AT&T refuses to remove misleading ‘5GE’ notification from iPhones

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No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
5G Evolution isn’t 5G, but the 5GE icon isn’t going away.
Photo: Cult of Mac/@Siddavarapu

After an arbitration panel on Wednesday called AT&T’s use of the phrase “5G Evolution” in its advertising misleading, the company agreed to stop using it. However, iPhone and Android devices connected to this telecom’s upgraded 4G LTE network will reportedly continue to display a “5GE” icon.

Misleading ‘5GE’ notification will soon disappear from AT&T iPhones [UPDATED]

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No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
AT&T agrees to stop telling customers it’s offering 5G Evolution, a type of connection rival telecoms all call 4G.
Photo: Cult of Mac/@Siddavarapu

AT&T will stop using the term 5G Evolution to describe an enhanced type of 4G. Rival T-Mobile convinced an arbitration panel on Wednesday that the description is misleading.

This apparently means iOS and Android handsets will stop informing customers that they’re connected to a 5G E network.

Update: AT&T will stop including 5G Evolution in its advertising, but will continue to put the 5GE icon on iPhones and Androids connected to its improved 4G LTE network.

US mobile data still costs way more than it should

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Global average mobile data cost seems reasonable.
Americans pay mobile data costs well above the global average.
Photo: Polina/Pexels

Americans pay far more for 4G service than much of the world, according to a report released Tuesday by a price-comparison firm. The cost for 1 gigabyte of LTE data in the United States costs almost twice the global average. And U.S. 4G service costs more than similar offerings in a whopping 187 other countries.