Here's exactly what you need to access Verizon's nationwide 5G network today (or at least tomorrow)

Here's exactly what you need to access Verizon's nationwide 5G network today (or at least tomorrow)
Verizon sure took its sweet time to follow T-Mobile and AT&T's suit, but at long last, the largest wireless service provider in the US can boast a "nationwide" 5G network as of October 13. 

While Big Red predictably made a big deal out of its coverage numbers last week, touting 5G availability for "more than" 200 million people in 1,800 cities around the US, one very important detail the carrier neglected to reveal when sharing the spotlight with Apple on the day of the highly anticipated iPhone 12 family announcement is exactly what devices can acquire a 5G signal where Ultra Wideband speeds are inaccessible.

These are all of Verizon's nationwide 5G-supporting devices (current and future)


As you may have suspected, existing smartphones will need a software update to actually gain access to Verizon's hot new DSS-based 5G network, which was initially vaguely scheduled to roll out in the "weeks and months" following the aforementioned 5G nationwide launch of October 13, according to an official support webpage.

Knowing the wireless service provider, which is not always great at software support and timely OS updates, that didn't sound very encouraging at first. But the LG Velvet 5G UW and V60 ThinQ UW are already joining a surprisingly lengthy list of devices recently updated or currently revised from a software standpoint to support Verizon's 5G nationwide speeds.


Said list includes Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 5G, Note 20 Ultra 5G, S20 5G UW, S20+ 5G, S20 Ultra 5G, A71 5G UW, and A51 5G UW in addition to the two aforementioned LG handsets. Verizon is however not done after delivering this pretty expansive batch of updates, preparing to do the same for the Motorola Edge+, OnePlus 8 5G UW, Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G UW, Galaxy Tab S7 5G, Tab S7+ 5G, and Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, as well as the Lenovo Flex 5G laptop and Inseego MiFi 2100 5G UW mobile hotspot, in the relatively near future.

On top of all of these "old" devices, the new Motorola One 5G UW, LG Wing, and obviously, Apple's entire iPhone 12 lineup all come ready to rumble on Verizon's "nationwide" 5G network right off the bat, no further updates needed.

Verizon's nationwide 5G service may not be that big of a deal after all


In case you're wondering, the reason why we keep putting the word "nationwide" in quotes is, well, because the US population far exceeds 200 million people. Geographically, things are even worse, as T-Mobile was unsurprisingly quick to point out in a series of deprecative tweets and a self-explanatory visual depiction of the two's updated 5G coverage.


Of course, what might prove to be an even bigger problem for Verizon is the underlying DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) technology of its nationwide 5G network, which differs wildly from T-Mobile and AT&T's implementation of dedicated low-band spectrum.

Although the two existing low-band 5G networks are far from impressive when it comes to download speeds, barely improving the strength of a traditional 4G LTE connection, Verizon may not even be able to match those underwhelming numbers while potentially causing trouble for both 5G and 4G users in times of increased data usage.


Meanwhile, the blazing fast mmWave-based Ultra Wideband signal is still pretty much impossible to come by for the overwhelming majority of Big Red's customers, with slim odds of seeing Verizon overcome that difficulty on a large scale anytime soon.

Mid-band spectrum is where carriers can strike the greatest balance between speed and coverage, but unfortunately for Verizon, T-Mobile's lead in that field when it comes to actual holdings and technological resources seems essentially insurmountable... possibly for good.

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