In the same week that we see AT&T make changes that benefit its subscribers, Verizon opts to take a different approach. 5G has been growing exponentially ever since it was introduced, and it has become a mainstay feature for new phones. But it seems that in another effort to nickel and dime its subscribers and potential customers, there will be a “premium” version of 5G available for an additional fee.
There are different frequencies at which 5G operates, and while Verizon’s “nationwide” version of 5G is available for everyone, it doesn’t provide the fastest speeds. That’s currently reserved for the mmWave bands, and will soon also be coming to Verizon’s eventual rollout of its ‘C-band’ frequencies.
Verizon confirms that to access C-Band you will need a premium unlimited plan like its Play More, Do More and Get More. If you have an older plan you'll only have access to its DSS "nationwide" 5G, not this newer and faster flavor. https://t.co/JH1uTixZaI
— Eli Blumenthal (@eliblumenthal) March 10, 2021
Currently, if you have one of Verizon’s basic smartphone plans, you have access to the nationwide 5G, but have to upgrade to either the Play More, Do More, or Get More unlimited plans. It seems that this will continue to be the case when the C-band spectrum is rolled out, which promises faster speeds, more reliability, and better performance.
The problem with this is that folks are still dealing with and experiencing sub-par and downright awful “5G” experience in certain areas. A quick search on Twitter shows that 5G speeds in a poor-performing area are way worse than those of the 4G LTE speeds. Which is frankly a joke at this point, and there were hopes that the rollout of the upcoming C-band frequencies would be used to help Verizon’s customers. Not so fast, though.
Verizon has already confirmed that these C-band frequencies, like mmWave, are going to be reserved for those paying more for the higher-tiered plans. It should come as no surprise, but Verizon out-bidding the likes of AT&T and T-Mobile for access to better 5G bands, comes at a high price. In fact, Big Red spent $45.4 billion (with a B), for the rights to the C-band license, and now those costs will be passed down to the consumers.
This move is pretty logical, but the fact remains that instead of shoring up its 5G resources and creating a better experience for all of its customers, Verizon’s going to make you pay more for better service. 5G is the new arms race for carriers, and Verizon’s trying to gain the same superiority it had with 4G LTE, but the customers are really the ones who are losing.
We aren’t sure when C-band will be rolled out, nor do we know how much Verizon plans to charge for access to this network spectrum.