Now that everyone has shared their frustrations with the US government and the airline industry and made adjustments to deployments, Verizon and AT&T have gone ahead and launched their all-important C-band 5G networks. Today’s big activation means better network coverage and speeds in more places, even if we’re taking baby steps right off the bat.
AT&T’s C-band news can be found here, so let’s talk in this post about what Verizon is up to today.
Verizon C-Band Coverage
Verizon says that departure today, their C-Band network will cover more than 100 million people in more than 1,700 cities. That’s a good chunk of the nation and ahead of AT&T’s 8 cities, but far behind T-Mobile’s 200+ million. After looking at their coverage map, it doesn’t seem to be updating with the C-band rollout. You’ll just have to navigate to your city and look for that “5G UW” logo to find out if you’re on C -Band or not.
C-band is 5G ultra wide band
Speaking of the “5G UW” logo, you’ll see it because Verizon includes C-Band in its 5G Ultra Wideband network label, which refers to its best and fastest 5G experience. Previously, 5G Ultra Wideband was intended for 5G mmW, a networking technology Verizon mistakenly bet early on as a way to write headlines based on speeds, but few Americans have yet found its signal.
Anyway, C-Band is included in 5G UW, so if you see this logo, it doesn’t mean you’re on 5G mmW – it could mean C-Band. You’ll probably know this because C-band is fast, but not 1Gbps fast, and it also works in buildings, unlike mmW. So if you’re in your office building or at home and you see this logo, it’s probably C-Band.
That’s why C-band is so important, because it provides both speed and coverage. Verizon’s “national” 5G network has coverage but is often slower than its 4G LTE network. Their 5G mmW network is stupidly fast, but you’ll rarely find it and it struggles to work through a window or without direct line of sight to a tower. C-Band, which is mid-band 5G, brings the best of these two together in a way.
How to access 5G Ultra Wideband? You need to be on one of Verizon’s supported plans, like these new 5G unlimited plans. All have 5G UW access except the basic 5G Start plan.
5G Home is expanding and is 50% off
One of the biggest news of this C-band activation is related to home internet. Verizon’s 5G Home service now extends to 20 million homes and is available at great prices, assuming you have coverage and are on one of their eligible unlimited wireless plans.
5G Home is available in two versions: 5G Home or 5G Home Plus. These would typically cost $50/month or $70/month, but if you’re on a 5G Play More, 5G Do More, or 5G Get More wireless plan, you’ll save up to 50% off that monthly price. So you could pay as little as $25/month for Verizon’s 5G Home internet service.
Which plan to choose? Looking at the comparison sheet above, I’m not sure why you would get the 5G Home Plus over the normal 5G Home plan, unless you want an extra year of price guarantee and want free subscriptions extended to streaming services. Otherwise, the two plans are almost identical.
And that’s today’s big 5G news from Verizon. You should soon be getting a 5G network connection that isn’t hot cakes, like Verizon’s current “national” 5G, and you might be able to get really cheap 5G home internet.