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  • Writer's pictureKevin Poindexter II

iPhones Go Fast...Hello 5G UC

If you're the owner of an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 T-Mobile has some good news for you...

Set the scene...I'm out helping my soon-to-be wife with her car as the battery has died. I check my phone to see what places are local and carry the type she'll need and upon unlocking my phone I notice something odd with my phone signal. I stare at it....look closer, and ask....what the heck is 5G UC?

T-Mobile has upgraded their 5G networks in most major cities across the US this week and as of writing this iPhone users are getting the benefit. More specifically those with a current iPhone meaning if you have any model iPhone 12 or 13. 5G UC stands for "Ultra Capacity" and this network promises higher than standard 4G-LTE speeds. This is important to know as T-Mo divides their 5G in two ways. One of being 5G Extended Range and this network makes up for the bulk of T-Mobile's 5G map. This network has speeds slightly better than their previous 4G-LTE and is considered to be low-band 5G.

The one I'm seeing (and I'm in the greater Raleigh NC area) is their mid-band or millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G UC. Coverage for this network is still growing (click here for T-Mobile's coverage map) and to give you an example of how small spread this is peep the North Carolina coverage below:

The regular magenta is your 5G coverage while the darker is 5G UC. Areas of other colors include 3G/4G coverage and areas supported by roaming partners.

Now for my Android followers reading this, no I haven't forgotten about you. I'm sorry to say however that as of now only iPhone users will see this network. One thing I did notice that was within the last week a modem firmware update was applied to iPhone. It's these updates that make it possible for your phone to be compatible with changes to a carrier's radio signal. There hasn't been any news of 5G UC coming to Android devices yet but I wouldn't think one is not coming in the near future. Other carriers like AT&T and Verizon don't use the 5G UC nomenclature but for those of you using those networks you may see changes in your signal as well.

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