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Thread: Here’s why you might see a new ‘5G UC’ icon in your iPhone status bar

  1. #1
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    Here’s why you might see a new ‘5G UC’ icon in your iPhone status bar

    Tmobile, join the rest of the carriers with adding letters and symbols to the 5G icon

    https://9to5mac-com.cdn.ampproject.o...-status-bar%2F


    iOS 15 launched today, and it includes another tweak for 5G users. If you are a T-Mobile customer and see a new “5G UC” icon in your iPhone status bar, it’s good news for your iPhone 12 or newer, but it’s very confusing at the same time.

    According to the president of technology at T-Mobile, Neville Ray, the carrier’s customers will now sometimes see “5G UC,” which means they are in an area with fast speeds with “Ultra Capacity 5G.” This was announced last week amid Apple’s iPhone 13 event, but it got lost in the shuffle.

    This feature is already available for all iPhone 12 models and will “come to more devices in the future through a software update,” according to T-Mobile’s support Twitter page.

    The Verge explains that there are differences between the “unadorned” 5G icon, which means that you’re in the company’s low-band networks – the “5G Extended Range,” that is a slower network that reaches a broader area – while the “5G UC” will mean that the customer is connected to T-Mobile’s mid-band network or its high-band mmWaw network.

    The publication notes that T-Mobile isn’t the first carrier to promote different 5Gs:

    "And while yet another 5G brand standard is confusing, it’s not without precedent. Verizon has been differentiating between its low-band 5G (also called “5G”) and its mmWave coverage (“5G UW,” or ultra-wideband) since it started rolling out those networks years ago. AT&T does something similar, too, referring to low-band 5G as “5G,” while its mmWave networks are “5G Plus.” "



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    With no mid-band T-Mobile 5G service anywhere between I-25 and I-35 anywhere up and down the middle of the country north of I-40, it will be many years before I ever see this icon on my phone. These mid-band upgrades are producing very tiny areas of coverage. T-Mobile is placing some of these upgrades in mid and small-sized cities and towns and that is good, but with only a 1-2 mile reach from the tower, actual coverage will be quite lacking as a lot of the towers that serve smaller cities and towns are not located IN those towns, instead being 2-3 miles away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwdewey View Post
    These mid-band upgrades are producing very tiny areas of coverage.
    That's the nature of the spectrum being used for UC. It doesn't go far. Fortunately T-Mobile has other bands that do cover small-sized cities and towns. And those bands should be able to support the capacity required for those areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    That's the nature of the spectrum being used for UC. It doesn't go far. Fortunately T-Mobile has other bands that do cover small-sized cities and towns. And those bands should be able to support the capacity required for those areas.
    All I know is they’ve told me about 3 towers that support ultra capacity. One reaches very near my house. T-Mobile and Verizon need to expand their upper echelon bands to more neighborhoods by the end of the year. I have faith in them. Not so much AT&T


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    Quote Originally Posted by mwdewey View Post
    With no mid-band T-Mobile 5G service anywhere between I-25 and I-35 anywhere up and down the middle of the country north of I-40, it will be many years before I ever see this icon on my phone. These mid-band upgrades are producing very tiny areas of coverage. T-Mobile is placing some of these upgrades in mid and small-sized cities and towns and that is good, but with only a 1-2 mile reach from the tower, actual coverage will be quite lacking as a lot of the towers that serve smaller cities and towns are not located IN those towns, instead being 2-3 miles away.
    The cellular and internet services are severely limited up and down the Central US and West Central US. A rectangular area 500 miles x 900 miles is huge.

    The current cellular nationwide coverage maps are at best an illusion.

    The distance between I-29 (@Omaha, NE) to I-25 (@Cheyenne, WY) is reported 494 miles.

    The distance from I-35 (@Wichita, KS) to I-25 (@Colorado Springs, CO) is 502 miles.

    The distances from I-40 (@ Amarillo) to I-94 (Bismarck, ND) is 934 miles where are only three other interstates in between (I-70, I-80 and I-90).

    Hopefully, the cellular carriers, Congress and the FCC address and resolve this dis-service within the next 2-5 years.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    That's the nature of the spectrum being used for UC. It doesn't go far. Fortunately T-Mobile has other bands that do cover small-sized cities and towns. And those bands should be able to support the capacity required for those areas.
    Is T-Mobile using any of those other frequency bands for 5G service currently? I don't recall reading anything from them regarding using other bands for 5G service, maybe I missed something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdrenick74 View Post
    The cellular and internet services are severely limited up and down the Central US and West Central US. A rectangular area 500 miles x 900 miles is huge.

    The current cellular nationwide coverage maps are at best an illusion.

    The distance between I-29 (@Omaha, NE) to I-25 (@Cheyenne, WY) is reported 494 miles.

    The distance from I-35 (@Wichita, KS) to I-25 (@Colorado Springs, CO) is 502 miles.

    The distances from I-40 (@ Amarillo) to I-94 (Bismarck, ND) is 934 miles where are only three other interstates in between (I-70, I-80 and I-90).

    Hopefully, the cellular carriers, Congress and the FCC address and resolve this dis-service within the next 2-5 years.


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    Good description. T-Mobile has by FAR the most 5G in the bounded area, but it is low-band and for the most part no better than LTE from my experience traveling around the area. AT&T ranks second but far behind and it is also a conglomeration of what they own, and no better then LTE. Verizon is in an extremely pitiful 3rd place, but supposed to improve when they get to launch their CBRS spectrum, but it remains to be seen what sort of coverage that will bring. My feeling is that it will not be much, if any, better than T-Mobile's mid-band, but we will see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotmama2078 View Post
    All I know is they’ve told me about 3 towers that support ultra capacity. One reaches very near my house. T-Mobile and Verizon need to expand their upper echelon bands to more neighborhoods by the end of the year. I have faith in them. Not so much AT&T


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Isn’t that the old WiMAX bands they are using?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwdewey View Post
    Is T-Mobile using any of those other frequency bands for 5G service currently? I don't recall reading anything from them regarding using other bands for 5G service, maybe I missed something.
    Sure. They use n71 band (600 MHz) for most of their 5G coverage. And they have four 5G bands for using 5G UC as detailed here:



    Extended Range (XR) 5G

    With Extended Range 5G, you’ll receive nationwide coverage, faster speeds than our 4G LTE and a reliable connection indoors and out from the big city to rural areas.
    Frequencies that can provide XR 5G:
    Band n71 (600 MHz)
    Check out What is 5G? to learn how it works!

    Ultra Capacity (UC) 5G

    With Ultra Capacity 5G, you’ll experience a performance boost, a reliable connection in crowded locations, and speeds as fast as Wi-Fi.
    Look for the newly released icon on your iPhone screen to know when you’re in an area with our fastest speeds! (Coming end of year to Android)
    Frequencies that can provide UC 5G:
    Band n41 (2.5 GHz)
    Band n258 (24 GHz)
    Band n260 (39 GHz)
    Band n261 (28 GHz)


    https://www.t-mobile.com/support/cov...mobile-network

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  11. #11
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    Anyone else have an iPhone with a T-Mobile eSIM and not seeing the new 5G UC icon on n41? I’m on iOS 15 and there’s no carrier updates available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    Sure. They use n71 band (600 MHz) for most of their 5G coverage. And they have four 5G bands for using 5G UC as detailed here:



    Extended Range (XR) 5G

    With Extended Range 5G, you’ll receive nationwide coverage, faster speeds than our 4G LTE and a reliable connection indoors and out from the big city to rural areas.
    Frequencies that can provide XR 5G:
    Band n71 (600 MHz)
    Check out What is 5G? to learn how it works!

    Ultra Capacity (UC) 5G

    With Ultra Capacity 5G, you’ll experience a performance boost, a reliable connection in crowded locations, and speeds as fast as Wi-Fi.
    Look for the newly released icon on your iPhone screen to know when you’re in an area with our fastest speeds! (Coming end of year to Android)
    Frequencies that can provide UC 5G:
    Band n41 (2.5 GHz)
    Band n258 (24 GHz)
    Band n260 (39 GHz)
    Band n261 (28 GHz)


    https://www.t-mobile.com/support/cov...mobile-network
    My original post (#2) was referencing N41 spectrum and its tiny coverage potential. You responded by saying that T-Mobile had "other bands that do cover small cities and towns", and of the list of frequencies you cited, which ones are currently actually being used to provide service in small cities and towns other than Band 71 which we already know about, and N41? Are those millimeter-wave bands you cite currently being used in small towns anywhere in the US? I am not aware that they are. In fact, I don't think millimeter-wave is being used in small towns by any carrier, it is only used on a block by block basis in a few major urban centers and stadiums. There has been plenty of talk in the forums here about the potential, or lack thereof, of using millimeter-wave in small town and rural settings, but I am not aware that any carrier is actually using that type of spectrum in those types of situations.

    I am encouraged as to the potential for small town and rural coverage after reading the statements from Mike Sievert in a Fierce Wireless article yesterday titled "T-Mobile Gains Cred in Smaller Markets as 'the 5G company'"

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    I had my first experience seeing the new 5G UC icon in the display of my iPhone 12 yesterday. I drove 100 miles and found the icon when I got to a larger city of 60,000 people. Performance was rather hit and miss, with my phone jumping every little bit from 5G to LTE to 5G UC. Looking at T-Mobile's coverage maps,I found the one site that contains the N41 spectrum, it is a mile outside the city and only covers a very small part of town, which explained the weak and hit-or-miss coverage downtown, but the site was indeed putting out 400 Mbps data, which is great. It would be good if more sites were transmitting 5G UC there, but only that one site covers that city, so until more sites are placed IN town, there will not be much benefit.

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    I like knowing when I am on mid band

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    By lumping its millimeter-wave spectrum coverage in with their mid-band spectrum coverage and calling the combined effort "Ultra Capacity", T-Mobile is being pretty secretive about how much actual millimeter-wave coverage they have. While Verizon's coverage maps show pretty well the individual streets where millimeter-wave coverage is available outdoors, T-Mobile's maps give the impression that coverage is available without specifying whether indoor service is actually available.

    I don't really think that T-Mobile has actually deployed very much millimeter-wave other than in stadiums and the like. At least nothing on the scale of Verizon or AT&T. I am guessing that most of this new UC coverage is actually mid-band, which although it has only a 1-2 mile reach from a tower according to the maps, does possess the capability of penetrating leaves and a wall or glass to provide some indoor coverage. The 5G UC I saw this week did work indoors in several buildings I was in, with a top speed of 450 Mbps inside a McAlisters deli location. Not blisteringly fast, but far better than the 40 Mbps I often see in low-band 5G service areas, which is pitiful. I would hope there are some capability testing going on right now and we will see some reporting on mid-band's capabilities.

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