5G tested across America: It’s crazy fast — and a hot mess

Joanna Stern for The Wall Street Journal:

Today’s forecast: 95 degrees and sunny with thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. No chance of 5G testing. One of the biggest findings of my multicity 5G review tour: The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G isn’t reliable in the summer — unless, well, you summer in Iceland. When I ran tests, the phone’s 5G often switched off due to overheating, leaving me with a 4G connection. Cellular carriers demo-ing or testing the phone have taken to cooling the devices with ice packs and air conditioners…

By the end of the year, there should be 5G in around 30 U.S. cities. Eager to test out a technology that’s been more hyped than flavored sparkling water, I embarked on a 5G expedition from Denver to Atlanta to Chicago to Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

After nearly 120 tests, more than 12 city miles walked and a couple of big blisters, I can report that 5G is fasten-your-seat-belt fast…when you can find it. And you’re standing outdoors. And the temperature is just right. As my findings show, 5G is absolutely not ready for you. But like any brand new network technology, it provides a glimpse of the future.

MacDailyNews Take: When 5G is really starting to become ready, there will be iPhones that support 5G* and, guess what, unlike Samsung’s typical half-assery, they’ll even work outdoors in the summer!



  1. 5G likely to mess with weather forecasts, but FCC auctions spectrum anyway


    U.S. Meteorologists ‘Deeply Concerned’ Over 5G Roll-Out


    Experts warned that sharing the 1675-1680MHz band could cause delays in public service alerts about severe weather like hurricanes and tornadoes.

    The letter by the U.S. meteorologists piggy backs on a letter sent to the FCC Chairman by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) asking him not to issue 5G licenses “until the FCC approves the passive band protection limits that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) determine are necessary to protect critical satellite‐based measurements of atmospheric water vapor needed to forecast the weather.”

    1. Watching YT videos is more important for most people, and so the cell phone carriers provide the speed they want.
      Until a hurricane or flooding occurs, then it’s time to blame everyone but themselves.

    2. But hey, it’s only science. Maybe the non-eggheads at the FCC can use it to figure out a way to get water to vibrate at a different frequency.

      “Information about atmospheric water vapor is plugged into computer models to predict how weather systems will behave.

      The vapor transmits a faint signal at a 23.8-gigahertz frequency.

      Meteorologists say a 5G station transmitting close to that same frequency could be mistaken for water vapor, and, they warn, that could make forecasts less accurate.”

  2. Hot mess… Is anyone really surprised this is American companies at their finest too busy worried about being first and not busy about getting it right. It seems to me 5G won’t be worthwhile for years.

  3. Is it surprising that an Administration that denies that the climate is warming or storms getting more severe wouldn’t care about crippling weather prediction, when there is a buck to be made with technology that only works in the cool weather that everybody but the US government sees as less common?

  4. I live in Tornado Alley and am concerned about the potential for 5G to interrupt emergency broadcasts – and first responder communications in any type of weather. (My local ATT shop is about a mile away as the crow flies and has recently been rebuilt after being destroyed by a tornado.)

    In addition to built in downgrading when too hot internally there also needs to be shut down in emergencies. That needs to be taken care of now before. emergencies hit. IIFC we are now in Hurricane Season so a big chunk of the country needs to be ready now. Otherwise 5G needs to be delayed.

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