5G Speed of Apple’s new iPhones 12

Apple has recently launched its 5G compatible iPhone 12 series. The speed of 5G wireless networks claimed as higher as 10 to 100 times faster than 4G LTE. The claim about the 5G speed needs an evaluation. 5G speed is much slower in many areas. Making a hefty investment on iPhones (from the $700 iPhone 12 Mini to the $1,100 iPhone 12 Pro Max) is not worth rewarding if the 5G factor alone is behind the purchase. The buyers need to wait till mobile companies invest more to improve their 5G networks. Going for iPhone 12 for other functionalities is, however, need a thorough analysis and is the stuff of another article. 

Variations of 5G Speed

The US mobile companies AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, have thrown billions of dollars in launching their 5G technology streams. All these carriers opted for the different airwaves bands. AT&T and Verizon are offering two different types of 5G streams. One type is using lower-frequency airwaves bands familiar with mobile companies. The transmitting through low-band 5G signals comparatively covers long distances. A long-distance reach means that the signal reaches millions of mobile users. Such bands are already occupied by the existing 4 G users, leaving very limited spare room for carriers to use for 5G signals. The other option that AT&T and Verizon are using is called millimeter wave bands. This technology flavor offers an ultrahigh-speed that people do expect from a 5G network. These bands are super fast for transmitting large data volumes at an astonishing high speed. The issue is that the millimeter-wave carriers are limited in numbers (55 for Verizon and 35 for AT&T).

3 Pronged 5G Approach

T-Mobile, on the other hand, enjoys a ‘trinity” 5G strategy. It has both low-band and millimeter-wave frequencies in a few cities. Its third option, the real upper hand, however, comes from its buying Sprint this year. Now it has access to extra airwaves in a mid-band frequency, providing it a balance of speed. At present, its mid-band signals cover areas with a population of about 25 million people. T-Mobile plans to expand mid-wave customers range to 100 million people by the end of this year. The US federal government has more mid-band 5G licenses on offer for sale by the year-end. It is an opportunity for AT&T and Verizon to catch up and compete. T-Mobiles remain the winner in the 5G spectrum until others win a bid and enter the game. 

5G Speed of iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 series is fully compatible with 5G technology. It is fine as far as phone functionality is concerned. The speed outcome, however, is dependent on the network you use and the location where you are. On the low-band carriers that iPhone 12, 5G speed is between 50 to 100 megabits per second. It means that you can download a new music album almost instantly, but a High-Definition Movie will take 5 to 10 minutes. A movie download time on T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G network is roughly a minute or two. It is just a matter of a few seconds on a millimeter-wave 5G signal. 

The Extras of 5G Speed 

The online entertainment alone is not the perk of a 5G speed. The people are less concerned about downloading music, movies, and entertainment stuff. The networking speed, especially the 5G speed, is a need of time for many other more professional usages of the smartphone. Mobile Networks and Apple are focusing on other potential reasons that customers require. The most demanded, for example, is real-time, multiplayer video games like League of Legends (which Apple demonstrated at its iPhone event) or Fortnite (which isn’t currently available in the iPhone app store because of a legal dispute). The players need low-latency to interact with players on wired home Internet connections.

The virtual meetings and online education (thanks to COVID-19) is another emerging sector needing a fast speed and reliable networks. Apple is focusing on other data-intensive ideas. It includes high-resolution medical scans, sharing by the doctors, and high-end documentation by other professionals like architects, media, and people in a visual business. 

Point to Note

Remember that your iPhone 12 is just fine for 5G signals, but you need to check your mobile operator and your location to avail of the speed. You need to hope and pray for the day your network is kind enough to throw a bundle of bucks if you yet not getting the speed you expected from your new 5G iPhone. 

Image by ADMC from Pixabay 

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  • Umar Hayat
  • The author has rich management exposure in banking, textile, and teaching in business administration.