5G False Start Over and iPhone SE Proving It

when you joined the edge In 2018, my first big errand sounded like absolute peaches – travel to the gorgeous Hawaiian island of Maui, sip cold drinks on the sand (the edge I paid for my flight; We don’t accept helicopters), and we became one of the first journalists to experience 5G’s blazing speeds at a Qualcomm event. Instead, I found myself telling a lie. The first real-world 5G test turned out to be malfunctioning, speeds misleading at best, covering up the fact that the 5G wave from Verizon and AT&T (mmWave) wasn’t ready.

Over the next three years, Verizon and AT&T successfully used a bogus, make-it-yourself strategy of enlisting politicians to help them “win” 5G as if it were some kind of “race”. Their fastest 5G networks were running on a piece of the spectrum called millimeter wave which is fast but so choppy you can barely get a signal without a cell tower directly overhead. Meanwhile, powerful phone makers like Apple have been complicit in renaming LTE networks to things like “5Ge,” helping carriers mislead customers into believing they had already started rolling out the new networks.

But it now appears that the 5G millimeter-wave carriers that have been buzzing from the start were just a fake giant head – a way to stay in the game until their already useful 5G spectrum is ready.

On Tuesday, Apple announced the iPhone SE 2022, the first 5G iPhone for the US to lack the 5G millimeter wave offered by AT&T and Especially Verizon has insisted on this for years. Instead of rejecting that iPhone or insisting that Apple make a special version of its millimeter wave network, Verizon will simply…carry it. Verizon spokesperson George Coronius confirmed this the edge That the company will stock it in stores.

Why would I make such a big deal about something so natural? You have to understand that things have It wasn’t normal in Verizon Land. Verizon paid Google to create a copy of a file donation Pixel 4A 5G that costs an extra $100 to meet the carrier’s ridiculous demand that phones support barely millimeter wave. Samsung’s Verizon version of the Galaxy S20 has less RAM and no microSD card expansion so it can fit mmWave 5G. All of Apple’s high-end iPhones have tiny millimeter-wave photo windows if you bought them in the US, and why? I personally experienced a Verizon mmWave 5G signal with my iPhone mini in total Once.

These are just the big tech companies: As far as I know, every other smartphone maker that sells phones in the US has been involved in producing Verizon-exclusive “5G UW” phones as well, which so far means mmWave. It was a strict rule that when analyst Anshel Sage discovered the phone’s spec sheet, he immediately raised the possibility Verizon may not carry the new iPhone SE at all.

It will, however—because Verizon doesn’t need to pretend it cares about millimeter wave anymore. In fact, the company has already rebranded away from it.

Originally, cellular industry executives told me that millimeter wave was key because 5G needed to wow people quickly. But the joke from day one has been that it’s a scavenger hunt: Quickly when you find a one street corner where you work, but walk down the street or enter a building, the signal evaporates.

But on January 22nd, during airline industry protests, Verizon flipped the switch on C-band 5G, the best part of the radio spectrum in both worlds with much longer millimeter-wave range and much better low-band speeds. The fifth generation network. After years of industry promises of 5G improvement, Verizon’s results suddenly looked great.

And because Verizon loves to look great, it is Previously It has redefined its “5G Ultra Wideband” brand. Midband 5G is also “5G YOUR” as of February.

In January, the company’s website outlining these terms stated:

5G Ultra Wideband is Verizon’s best 5G. Our 5G Ultra Broadband network uses high bandwidth (mmWave) spectrum to deliver the best 5G experience.

Today you read:

5G Ultra Wideband is Verizon’s best 5G. Our 5G ultra-wideband network uses high bandwidth (mmWave) and mid-band spectrum (C-band) To provide the best 5G experience.

That’s funny.

But now that Verizon has rerouted its network around the C-band — and has invested heavily, just $45.4 billion for spectrum alone — it has no other reason to push for millimeter wave devices that barely deliver on the promise of 5G. What the first 5G phone needs people to really give them a good 5G experience, and that’s exactly what the new iPhone SE is preparing to do: Those who upgrade from an earlier model have the opportunity to go directly from LTE to the C-band 5G network. It’s one of the first flagship phones to support C-band out of the box.

I don’t think we’ve seen the end of 5G marketing bullshit, keep in mind: You might wonder for a long time if you’re actually on Verizon’s C band or millimeter wave spectrum because of the way the carrier is now putting both under the same umbrella. There’s still plenty of room for AT&T-esque labeling tricks in areas where coverage isn’t as good as the carrier would like to appear too. This was AT&T’s version of a dummy strategy until you make it right from the start.

But at least we can stop pretending that millimeter wave is hardly the future. It only took three years, untold billions of dollars, a completely different set of spectrum, and a lot of misdirection to make 5G a consumer reality — at least in densely populated cities and parts of cities across the country.