Verizon 5G can be slower than its LTE network as per recent tests

Verizon 5G

Verizon’s new nationwide 5G network is reportedly slower than its LTE network. It is to the point that users are apparently better off just disabling 5G entirely unless they’re near a mmWave network. The tech lets carriers run LTE and 5G networks side by side, which is useful if, like Verizon 5G, you don’t yet have enough dedicated 5G spectrum.

While the carrier has mostly focused on its mmWave network until recently, it is rolling out a mid-band nationwide 5G network. It promises to avoid mmWave’s range issues by using DSS. The only catch is that, with Verizon. It seems like this tech leads to worse performance in most cases for phones running in 5G mode.

At least for now, the solution is to just turn 5G off if you are a Verizon customer. If that has you concerned about speeds compared to your T-Mobile customer-friends, don’t worry too much. That same nationwide test also revealed that AT&T’s 5G could be slower than its LTE as well, which makes sense. It may be worth checking to see if you are actually getting faster speeds with 5G on. If you are not, it may be worth turning it off entirely for now. This is also likely just a temporary issue as Verizon continues to add dedicated 5G spectrum, their speeds are going to improve.

What all do you need to note?

It is important to note that this doesn’t apply to Verizon’s mmWave technology. It is much faster than anything any other carrier has to offer. However, while mmWave has the speed, it doesn’t have the range. And it gets blocked by trees, buildings, and sometimes even windows.

If you often find that 5G UB logo popping up on your phone, you need that speed. It may be worth keeping Verizon 5G on. It leads to slowdowns when you get outside its range. Verizon switched on its Nationwide 5G network for around 200 million users in October. It is just in time for the iPhone 12’s arrival. And a month later, in December, the carrier expands the coverage to 230 million users. Now, Verizon’s Nationwide 5G essentially plays second fiddle to its much faster Ultra-Wideband (UWB) 5G network that relies on the mmWave spectrum.

On the other hand, the Nationwide 5G runs on lower spectrum bands. Actually, Verizon’s Nationwide 5G relies on a technology called Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). To piggyback on the 4G spectrum in areas where 5G Ultra Wideband coverage is not available. Yes, Verizon’s 4G is faster than its low-spectrum 5G network. As per the report, we can say that using an iPhone 12 Pro in New York City shows that DSS 5G is frequently slower than 4G.

Why Must Verizon iPhone Users Turn Off Verizon 5G Right Now?

Verizon’s “nationwide 5G” may be seriously slowing down your new iPhone. A problem that also affects other new 5G phones such as the Google Pixel 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Verizon has America’s fastest mobile network based on two systems. Firstly, A 4G LTE network that gets shorter every year, and a blazing-fast, high-capacity millimeter-wave “ultra wideband” (UWB) 5G network.

Verizon’s 4G LTE is often faster than T-Mobile’s and AT&T’s low-band 5G. But Verizon’s UWB 5G network has minimal coverage. You are potentially giving Verizon phones a 4G icon in cities where its competitors have 5G. And when you are choosing a carrier, you are more likely to want that little 5G icon than to dig into the nuances of network speeds.

DSS: A Desperately Slow System

The gold standard of 5G is to use broad, dedicated channels for 5G traffic. That’s what Verizon’s UWB and T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G do, setting up wider channels than 4G and letting 5G speed along. Verizon’s fast UWB 5G system has been expanding monthly. It is now available in more than 60 cities but because it uses very high frequencies. It has a short-range and doesn’t cover many areas in each town.

If you don’t have any dedicated channels, DSS lets you use odds and ends of your unused 4G channels for 5G. The 4G and 5G phones compete for the same 4G channel.

The only difference is that the 5G ones are running the 5G encoding system on that channel. There are non-speed advantages to DSS—or there will be in the future.  Once carriers go to standalone 5G systems—but right now, you’re just getting a slower performance.

How to Disable Verizon 5G on Your iPhone?

If you don’t have UWB 5G coverage, you are likely to get better Verizon performance for now by disabling 5G on your iPhone. This may go for AT&T, too; it isn’t right for T-Mobile, which uses a different 5G setup. Verizon is right now in the process of bidding for valuable mid-band 5G airwaves; a swath called the C-Band. Both AT&T and Verizon are desperate for the C-Band spectrum. Especially for the first 120MHz of the band, it will become available for use later in 2021.

5G technology is designed to enable devices that are traveling up to 500 kph (310 mph) to stay connected to the network. The number of connected devices will be more than three times the global population by 2022. Sustainability is one of Verizon’s core values. 5G will have lower energy requirements for network operations.


It isn’t just Verizon that’s suffering from the problem. Similar testing on AT&T’s low-band 5G found that the nationwide network often delivered slower performance than AT&T’s 4G speeds. The issues with DSS may not affect T-Mobile, however, since it uses a different mid-band approach to its nationwide 5G network. Like T-Mobile mid-band, the technology would likely do away with the performance and latency issues of DSS 5G. Verizon is currently bidding for the C-Band spectrum, some of which will become available by the end of 2021.