Turn off 5G on Verizon for faster data speeds

The iPhone 12 allows you to turn off 5G if you want to maximize battery life, but tests suggest that Verizon users may want to do so for a second, and for some bizarre reason: to get faster mobile data speeds!

Tests were performed with an iPhone 12 Pro in eight locations around New York City, but similar results are likely to be seen elsewhere …

PCMag performed the tests.

We ran tests on an iPhone 12 Pro that switched between 5G and 4G in the same places. In both cases, DSS 5G gave worse results than 4G LTE […]

I took the iPhone 12 Pro to eight locations around New York City, where I compared 4G and 5G speeds. In the first seven places, 5G was DSS and generally slower than 4G.

The reason for this is that Verizon uses a shortcut to achieve 5G coverage, so-called dynamic spectrum sharing, or DSS.

[DSS 5G] reuses parts of 4G channels for 5G. Phones automatically prefer a 5G network over a 4G network, so Verizon customers will see the coveted 5G icon appear. But that’s all for show. Our latest tests with an iPhone 12 Pro in New York City show that DSS 5G is often slower than 4G and rarely faster. These results are similar to what we saw in October in Chicago with a Pixel 5.

Verizon did not acknowledge that its 5G would typically be slower than LTE, but acknowledged that there is no real benefit to its current implementation of 5G.

“For most customers, the performance of our 5G nationwide network will be similar to 4G. [DSS] is new technology and we continue to modify it as we go. We expect performance improvements by 2021 and beyond, says a Verizon spokesman.

It’s different if you’m lucky enough to get mmWave 5G – where you should see blazing speeds – but since this is limited to wi-fi-like ranges, you will not see it very often even in large cities. The rest of the time, Verizon users are stuck with DSS.

If you do not have any dedicated channels, DSS allows you to use the odds and ends of your unused 4G 4G channels. The 4G and 5G phones compete for the same 4G channel. The only difference is that the 5G devices run the 5G coding system on that channel. There are non-speed advantages with DSS – otherwise there will be in the future when carriers go to standalone 5G systems – but right now you only get slower performance […]

If you do not have UWB 5G coverage, you will probably get better Verizon performance at the moment by disabling 5G on your iPhone

Across the UK, I found that I sometimes see high-speed data on 5G, but more often it is no different than 4G.

How to turn 5G on and off on your iPhone 12.

Photo: James Yarema at Unsplash

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