Telecom operators Verizon and AT&T have kicked off the 5G era for the latest Apple and Samsung smartphone users in the US amid airline cancellations and an ongoing tussle with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Verizon said that all phones it releases as of now will support C-band 5G. The carrier expects to offer over 20 compatible phones by the end of 2022.
At launch, new Apple 13 series and 12 series iPhones, latest generation iPads and Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, S21 Ultra, Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3 are compatible with 5G roll-out.
Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro smartphones will soon get C-band access.
The new, faster level of 5G connectivity will significantly augment Verizon’s “5G Ultra Widebanda network, which, until now, has relied solely on extremely-fast-but-very-hard-to-find millimetre wave spectrum, reports The Verge.
Verizon has promised to reach “more than 100 million people in 1,700-plus cities around the nation” with the faster 5G.
AT&T started its expanded 5G service in eight metro areas in the US on Wednesday, including Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Orlando, and South Florida.
“Today’s introduction begins in limited parts of 8 metro areas across the U.S. It will expand rapidly as our thoughtful and efficient deployment ramps up throughout the year,” said Chris Sambar, AT&T’s executive vice president of technology operations, explains in the post announcing the expansion.
According to reports, several Verizon customers on C-band started receiving download rates that range anywhere from 200 to 500Mbps and, in the very best cases, over 800Mbps.
These were in regions where cellular data had previously often topped out around 60 or 80Mbps.
Meanwhile, at least 10 international airlines modified or cancelled flights to the US amid conflicting reports on what new 5G cell phone services can do to critical aeroplane technologies.
The FAA, the US air transport regulator, has been concerned that the version of 5G that was scheduled to be switched on could interfere with some aeroplane instruments.