What’s the difference between 5G, 5G Plus, 5G UW, and 5G UC. Assuming you’ve seen the cryptic new icons springing up on your phone close to the 5G logo, you’re not alone.
Carriers are growing their 5G networks incredibly this year, and those little “UW” and “UC” logos you’re unexpectedly seeing represent the various varieties of 5G you’re experiencing in the wild. Like Pokémon, but still very confusing.
The Difference between 5G, 5G Plus, 5G UW, and 5G UC
There are low, mid, and high-band varieties of the 5G range. They all give various degrees of data speeds, and all significant US carriers utilize each of the three.
Normally, they additionally have different names for them. Depending upon your carrier, you might see abbreviations spring up close to the 5G image on your phone when you’re connected with the relating network.
Here is a fast manual for the different varieties of 5G in the US and the abbreviations carriers have appointed to them.
5G Spectrum Basics
In general, low-band 5G has widespread signal reach, yet speeds aren’t a lot quicker than 4G LTE (if at all). High-band 5G is exceptionally quick, in downloading a film like a flash, however, the sign is very limited.
Then, at that point, there’s mid-band 5G, which offers a sort of middle ground between the two: far-reaching signal and speeds that are recognizably quicker than 4G, however not incredibly quick like high-band.
5G UW: Verizon refers to both its high-band and mid-band 5G as Ultra-Wideband. Until recently, UW referred distinctly to the high-band network, likewise called mmWave.
Verizon set a ton of energy on building and advancing this network, however even in the restricted regions where it exists, the signal can be hard to get.
Beginning in 2022, Verizon began lighting up a new mid-band 5G spectrum in significant urban areas and arranged it, as well, as Ultra-Wideband. Not confusing by any means.
Assuming you see the 5G UW icon on your phone, odds are good that you’re on the mid-band network. On the off chance that you’re on mmWave, you’ll see a major distinction in information speeds.
Be that as it may, if your data simply appears to be recognizably quick, not ridiculously quick, you’re most likely on mid-band.
Verizon refers to its low-band 5G as 5G Nationwide. You’re connected with this network assuming you simply see a 5G logo on your phone without “UW” close to it.
Furthermore assuming your response to seeing that 5G icon spring up is like the thing “Huh, this doesn’t appear to be any quicker than 4G,” you’re not envisioning things.
It’s generally not faster than 4G LTE. Certain Verizon plans, similar to its basic 5G Start limitless plan, just incorporate this low-band version of 5G.
5G Plus: A “5G+” logo on your screen implies you’re connected with either AT&T’s high-band or mid-band range.
AT&T has invested substantially less energy behind working out a high-band network outside of arenas and air terminal terminals, so you’re not prone to experience it barely all over town.
As of mid-2022, the mid-band AT&T range is additionally kind of scant since the transporter is taking a “solve two problems at once” way to deal with its mid-band expansion.
A 5G logo without the “plus” refers to the carriers’ low-band 5G network, which, it worth repeating, isn’t a lot quicker than LTE.
A couple of years prior, before any kind of significant 5G networks existed in the US, AT&T got innovative and started branding some of its 4G LTE as “5G Evolution.”
It isn’t 5G, and an ad review board advised the company to knock it off. The logos actually show up on phones, yet if it’s not too much trouble, disregard it; you’re on 4G.
5G UC: T-Mobile’s “Ultra Capacity” network actually incorporates high-band 5G, yet the majority of the network and T-Mobile’s publicizing is fixated on the mid-band spectrum remembered for the name.
While Verizon and AT&T are simply getting their mid-band networks going, T-Mobile got an early advantage with the 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum it got when it acquired Sprint.
Assuming you see that “5G UC” logo on your phone, you can wager that is the spectrum you are connected with.
A 5G logo without “UC” implies that you’re connected with low-band 5G, which T-Mobile calls “Extended Range.”
Once more, it’s not a lot faster than LTE, but rather it is more far-reaching than mid-band or high-band 5G. Assuming you’ve seen a 5G logo on your T-Mobile phone and been unmoved by the data speeds, that may be the reason.