Testing Verizon's 5G network in New York City: here are the top speeds we found
For a quick recap on Verizon’s 5G network, the carrier supports mmWave connections, one of the two forms of 5G currently available. Compared to sub-6Ghz, the other major part of the spectrum, mmWave theoretically supports significantly faster speeds—but it doesn’t do as well with managing interference from walls and structures, making the connection a bit more fragile.
Site A: 3rd Avenue, Turtle Bay
Verizon’s 5G UWB network exists in spots and patches across Manhattan, with hotspots clustered markedly around the (normally) bustling Midtown area. Turtle Bay is one of the quieter neighborhoods where 5G reception is available, and it didn’t disappoint with our tests, averaging download speeds of 895 Mbps, not too far off from the maximum 1 Gbps the carrier advertises.
Of course, 5G reception is characteristically finicky. It can take a bit of searching to find a spot with an ideal connection, and even then the speed isn’t perfectly consistent, but real-life download speeds showed significant improvements over normal LTE connections. Saving a 500MB video on Netflix took just 42 seconds, while downloading Asphalt 9 and all of its required additional data took just under three minutes. To compare, my relatively speedy home Wi-Fi took upwards of ten minutes for that same installation, while LTE speeds would require up to an hour.
Site A, Speed Testing with Speedtest by Ookla:
Site A, Netflix & Play Store Download Speeds:
Site B: 45th Street, Times Square
Download speeds in real life were proportionately faster here, though none of our real-life tests even got close to the speeds 5G could deliver on paper with the current network infrastructure. One episode of a Netflix original series weighing in at 700MB took a little over a minute to download, while the install for Asphalt 9 took twice that time.
Site B, Speed Testing with Speedtest by Ookla:
Site B, Netflix & Play Store Download Speeds:
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For uploads, many 5G networks originally relied on LTE, but most have switched to standalone 5G since. With Verizon's 5G, we saw an average Mbps in the twenties, with a peak of 43 Mbps. These are considerably less spectacular than the download speeds but still significantly better than current LTE averages, which fall around a maximum of 10~15 Mbps in the same areas.
All in all, the Moto Edge+ performs admirably as far as 5G connectivity is concerned, and Verizon’s coverage maps and speed boasting seems fairly accurate as well. The new network still has major hurdles to overcome before it reaches ubiquity, but it’s already come remarkably far, and the magical download speeds available today only make us more excited for future prospects.