Verizon is about to activate its new C-Band-based 5G network, but that has come at a cost. While Verizon’s unlimited data plans used to include unlimited access point data in mmWave 5G, the new plans introduced this week as part of Verizon’s upcoming Band C launch will now have caps.
Verizon confirmed the change to PCMag along with an explanation. Verizon’s initial mmWave network could handle devices using up to 800MHz at once, but the C-Band can handle much lower 60Hz. Verizon is still calling out the new ultra-broadband (UWB) network and has set 50GB caps on access point allocations from new 5G plans to compensate for reduced capacity. Once you hit this limit, it will drop to 3 Mbps on UWB and 600 Kbps on 5G / LTE nationwide.
If you’ve relied on your phone for your home internet, Verizon will have two options for you: 5G Home and 5G Home Plus. The launch of C-Band will allow Big Red to offer a new 5G-based residential Internet service (different from its Fios brand) with no data limits. Availability for this will expand over time, potentially offering consumers a new fast and reliable home internet solution in their area. Verizon says that users of a 5G UWB wireless plan for their phones will get a 50% discount on one of the two new home internet plans.
C-Band will augment the mmWave-based UWB network, offering customers faster and more reliable speeds in more places. With mmWave, the best experience is in the tower’s line of sight. Obviously that’s very limited, so while Verizon has some of the fastest speeds available, it’s difficult for most people to access a signal. And signal quality drops significantly indoors, which C-Band could help fix.
This Band C implementation is scheduled to cover an additional 1,700 cities, effectively serving more than 100 million people. Verizon’s previous mmWave-based ultra-broadband network was available in about 87 cities. Verizon claims that the new network will be 10 times faster than LTE, reaching 1 Gbps. That means the best 5G phones can win big. For many people, the new 5G network should be noticeably faster than LTE, which has not always been the case with 5G up to this point.
Verizon and AT&T will launch their Band C networks on January 19 after agreeing to delay the launch amid objections from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is concerned Band C is interfering with security systems on some aircraft.
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