There are three types of 5G and most of what you’ll get is not super-fast

There are three types of 5G being built in the United States including low-band, mid-band, and high-band mmWave 5G.

Alex Sherman and Todd Haselton for CNBC:

5G is really confusing because there are three different versions of it that are being built. The networking architecture will eventually work together but most of what you’ll get right now, and probably for the coming years, isn’t super fast. Even worse, there isn’t anything that works with all three right now.

• mmWave high-band 5G: T-Mobile (a little), AT&T and Verizon. About 10x faster than LTE with extremely low latency, which means individual messages are transmitted almost instantaneously. But you need to be standing really close to a tower or transmitter to get those speeds.

• Mid-band 5G: Sprint. About 6x faster than LTE, but with a smaller footprint than low-band.

• Low-band 5G: T-Mobile/AT&T. About 20 percent faster than 4G LTE.

Most of what you’re hearing about 5G today actually refers to mid-band or low-band, which won’t be that much of a difference from today’s wireless connectivity.

MacDailyNews Take: 5G doesn’t really arrive until Apple releases their next-gen high-end iPhones this September that will support all three 5G flavors. Once that happens, the confusion will evaporate as users will get great speeds when near mmWave transmitters and slightly faster, more robust connectivity elsewhere.


  1. I wish the carriers could just implement 4G finally. It’s much safer than 5G especially in mm-environments and just as fast. I guess the only real problem is they have convinced too many people that LTE is 4G. It’s not. It never was. It’s the stopgap to keep the network growing until the 4G introduction. It’s all marketing. The technology is being ignored!

  2. The mm-Wave bands have not been fully tested and are almost certain to cause major health and environment problems. More research is needed prior to ANY deployment.

    Besides, if they give us 4G we’d be happy. The top speed to 4g (not LTE) is the same speed as the mmWave 5G. Crazy. I know. It’s called marketing.

  3. I imagine it will be eons (if ever) that more rural areas will see 5G. The cost of transmitters every 500 metres is daunting for less populated areas, from a standpoint of cost recovery. Of course, 5G will not just be about cell phones. Maybe other IoT uses by utilities/other will help defray the costs.

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