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Each technology has different and complex sub-technologies and their criteria, and the fifth generation of wireless networks consists of many features, including 5G UC. 5G UC refers to customers connected to a type of 5G network that only appears on 5G-enabled iPhones or Android phones with smartphones, such as iPhone 12 and 13. This new network will appear if you’re a T-Mobile customer and you see a new icon “ 5G UC” in the status bar of your iPhone. Specifically, this icon will appear when connected to T-Mobile’s ultra capable 5G network. It originally appeared on iPhones in mid-September 2021 and is now also appearing on some Android phones, which is considered good news for iPhone 12 or newer versions.
Since the release of iOS 15, another setting has been included for 5G users. According to Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology, the carrier’s customers now sometimes see “5G UC,” meaning they’re in an area with fast speeds with “Ultra Capacity 5G.” In other words, you can say that 5G UC indicates that users are connected to mid-band or millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G. In T-Mobile’s case, you’re probably connected to the mid-band, as this makes up most of T-Mobile’s faster 5G network.
5G UC, 5G UW and 5G+: What’s the difference?
mmWave is the fastest commercially available 5G variant, but it is only deployed in a very few places. It uses a much higher frequency than previous mobile networks and allows ultra-fast connections. However, it struggles to bridge distances or pass through building walls and other obstacles, making it virtually useless outside of some 5G-equipped stadiums, airports, and arenas. At the other end of the spectrum is low-band 5G, which is the foundation for nationwide 5G offerings from all three major carriers. While it offers longer range and better penetration inside buildings, etc., it also offers much slower speeds than mmWave and C-band networks.
For those wondering about 5G UW or “Ultra Wideband,” that’s what Verizon uses to refer to its millimeter wave and C-band 5G networks. It’s the same thing as T-Mobile’s 5G UC, as they both mean the faster 5G connectivity offered by their respective carriers. Please note that Verizon’s 5G UW network may also be referred to as “5G UWB” on certain devices, but it is essentially the same 5G Ultra Wideband network and frequencies. AT&T also offers 5G in two flavors: 5G and 5G Plus. AT&T also has a 5GE (5G Evolution) network, but it’s not 5G at all. It’s just a 4G network that the carrier calls 5G for some reason, which makes things even more confusing for everyone involved.
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