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5G in the US is disappointing right now, but it’s going to get better

Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all claim to have incredible 5G networks, but the truth is they’re still a work in progress.

To understand the complicated 5G situation in the US right now, you first need to know that there are low-, mid-, and high-band frequencies that carriers can use. Low-band is slower but offers widespread coverage. High-band, often called mmWave, is very fast but extremely limited in range. Mid-band sits in a sweet spot between the two, with good range and better-than-LTE speeds.

The technology Verizon and AT&T are using to get nationwide 5G coverage is called Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), which allows 4G and 5G to coexist on the same spectrum. That helps carriers make the transition from one technology to the other, but it comes at a cost.


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