You'll need an iPhone 14 to see all of AT&T's 5G network

Posted:
in iPhone
AT&T is rolling out a new 5G midband network, but for Apple fans, only the newly-announced iPhone 14 will be able to use it.

5G logo on an iPhone
5G logo on an iPhone


Earlier in 2022, AT&T said that that it was working to include 5G devices to use its new 3.45GHz midband 5G network. But, in reality, Apple 5G devices released before 2022 will be locked out from AT&T's new spectrum purchase, and it's not from a lack of compatible hardware.

AT&T's original promise included iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, but now a report from CNET says only the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max will support it.

It's not fully clear why this is the case. The modems in Apple's iPhone going back to the iPhone 12 support the frequencies in question.

AT&T and Dish won the US Federal Communications Commission's auction for the expanded spectrum. The auction cost AT&T $9.1 billion for the right to include this midband frequency on its network.

Three frequency bands comprise 5G: low-band, mid-band, and high-speed mmWave. The midband spectrum offers the best of speed and range, which is in part what AT&T purchased at the auction. There isn't a specific timeline on when AT&T's midband will roll out to consumers, but Chris Sambar, AT&T's executive vice president, said it will arrive by the end of 2022.

Apple specifically mentions 5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave) in the product lines for iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14. Sub-6Ghz refers to frequencies below six gigahertz, commonly referring to data transmission on bands between 3.3 GHz and 4.2 GHz, which include this new midband.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,153member
    Glad I dumped AT&T after 20+ years for T-Mobile. Unlimited service for half the price and no wondering each month how much the taxes and fees will add up to. 5G UltraCapacity is super!
    flyingdplkruppFileMakerFellerscstrrfwatto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 2 of 10
    aatbaatb Posts: 10member
    cpsro said:
    Glad I dumped AT&T after 20+ years for T-Mobile. Unlimited service for half the price and no wondering each month how much the taxes and fees will add up to. 5G UltraCapacity is super!
    I can't agree more. My wife's work persuaded her and by extension our family to switch from T-mobile to AT&T FirstNet for first responders. It is by far the worst cell service, period. We've used the big 3 carriers over the years, starting with the iPhone 3G and AT&T. Unfortunately in 2022, AT&T is so far behind Verizon and T-Mobile in terms of coverage, speed, price, customer service I'm actually shocked that anyone is still with them. We will be switching this month to get as far away from AT&T as possible. T-mobile's 5G Ultra Capacity was legit, even with our iPhone 12's. 
    flyingdpFileMakerFellerforgot usernamescstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Here in Orange County, CA, I get regular AT&T 5G, not their 5G+ faster stuff. After reading the recent articles about how great T-Mobile has gotten, and knowing their 5G UC is supposed to be amazing, I tried the new 90 day test drive last week. My plain old AT&T 5G is 150mbps, T-Mobiles 5G UC was 41mbps. The upstream was abysmal, coming in at 2Mbps on T-Mobile vs 24mbps on AT&T. I have tested this in many areas around here and the results are similar. You really do get what you pay for. Very excited about this even faster midband and love that it will be restricted to only the latest devices.
    FileMakerFellerforgot username
  • Reply 4 of 10
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 923member
    When they limit device model availability I expect it’s system capacity issues. keep the volume down so they can deliver performance over a limited hardware setup. 
    rayboB-Mc-CFileMakerFellerllamalibertyandfreewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    I’m using Verizon’s 5G UW and it’s amazing. I ran the 30-day T-mobile trial and was equally impressed. 
    edited September 2022 scstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    B-Mc-C said:
    Here in Orange County, CA, I get regular AT&T 5G, not their 5G+ faster stuff. After reading the recent articles about how great T-Mobile has gotten, and knowing their 5G UC is supposed to be amazing, I tried the new 90 day test drive last week. My plain old AT&T 5G is 150mbps, T-Mobiles 5G UC was 41mbps. The upstream was abysmal, coming in at 2Mbps on T-Mobile vs 24mbps on AT&T. I have tested this in many areas around here and the results are similar. You really do get what you pay for. Very excited about this even faster midband and love that it will be restricted to only the latest devices.
    Odd. I just ran SpeedTest on the T-Mobile UC network.  Got 541 Mbps download, 30.5 Mbps upload. Wonder if it’s network congestion or setup. 
    scstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    While there are probably some minor practical issues at play, I'm usually unhappy when features get limited in such a fashion that the company in question also ends up making extra money out of the situation. I remember when tethering my iPhone to use its network connection with my laptop incurred a $10 monthly charge from Optus, because my other choice was to pay for a separate SIM-based device at the same extra fee.

    Keep up those customer-friendly policies, carriers!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    B-Mc-C said:
    Here in Orange County, CA, I get regular AT&T 5G, not their 5G+ faster stuff. 
    Has T-Mo fixed their "HD Voice" issues?  Last time I test drove, the audio quality was comparable to my StarTAC from the 90's
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Apple's website says which 5G and LTE bands each phone supports, but it doesn't mean anything to me. 

    scstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 10
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,153member
    B-Mc-C said:
    Here in Orange County, CA, I get regular AT&T 5G, not their 5G+ faster stuff. After reading the recent articles about how great T-Mobile has gotten, and knowing their 5G UC is supposed to be amazing, I tried the new 90 day test drive last week. My plain old AT&T 5G is 150mbps, T-Mobiles 5G UC was 41mbps. The upstream was abysmal, coming in at 2Mbps on T-Mobile vs 24mbps on AT&T. I have tested this in many areas around here and the results are similar. You really do get what you pay for. Very excited about this even faster midband and love that it will be restricted to only the latest devices.
    Your results seem atypical. I just got 343 Mbps down and 1.84 Mbps up on T-Mobile 5G UC in my basement with 2 bars.  150 down was about the peak I saw over several months with AT&T 5G+ under ideal conditions.
    (Keep in mind all of the carriers still use LTE for upload.)
    edited September 2022 watto_cobra
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