In the majority of Verizon’s 5G markets, uploads have so far remained on LTE and been unable to match the blistering download speeds of millimeter-wave. But that’s changing today. Verizon says that 5G uploads are now available in all 5G markets, so if you’re an early adopter and already have a 5G smartphone, you should notice this speed bump.
But as always, there are caveats.
For one, Verizon doesn’t want customers expecting the same eye-popping speeds — sometimes topping 1Gbps — that mmWave can give you on the downstream. “Initially, customers should see upload speeds on 5G about 30 percent faster than 4G LTE,” Verizon’s Kevin King wrote in a news release today. That might still make for a good upgrade over your home internet connection unless your plan includes symmetrical download and upload performance. Verizon is using 100MHz of its millimeter-wave spectrum for uploads, according to PC Mag’s Sascha Segan.
The second asterisk here relates to coverage. In the fine print, Verizon says “5G upload coverage area differs from 5G download coverage area” — but it doesn’t go into details. I’ve asked a spokesperson to clarify how significant these differences are. Verizon’s 5G coverage can be difficult to come by, so if 5G uploads are even more spotty, well, that’s far from ideal. The carrier’s 5G coverage maps haven’t been updated to reflect where 5G uploads are available.
Verizon also announced that San Diego will become the latest city to gain 5G service on May 28th. “5G Ultra Wideband service initially will be concentrated in parts of Mission Valley near Westfield Mission Valley and SDCCU Stadium, Linda Vista along Linda Vista Road, Kensington near El Cajon Blvd, and in Banker’s Hill on 1st Avenue,” Verizon said.
The company says it’s on track to launch low-band 5G, the second half of its deployment strategy, later this year.