HomeTechnologyOn older phone contracts, Verizon's 5G upgrade imposes additional hotspot data limitations

On older phone contracts, Verizon’s 5G upgrade imposes additional hotspot data limitations

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Verizon has announced plans to offer 5G service using its C-band spectrum by mid-2019. It expects to cover up to 100 million Americans with high speed internet access from their homes. However, if you’re using an unlimited 5G hotspot plan now, then you may be subject to a monthly data limit when switching to the mmWave network. With the Beyond Unlimited (BUL) smartphone plan from Verizon Wireless, current subscribers get 15 GB of high speed mobile broadband access at 4 G LTE speeds and unlimited 5 GHz Wi‑Fi calling/hotspot usage. Going forward, Verizon Wireless plans to include the entire UHF band (C-Band) and mmWave spectrum into its “Ultra Wideband” service. And for those who already have access to unlimited Ultra Wideband hotspots, they won’t get any new ones. If you subscribe to the Beyond Unlimited plan, you’ll be able to use an additional 15 GB of high speed hotspot data no matter which network slice you choose and won’t experience any slowdown once you’ve used up that allotment.

For most people, this won’t really be a major change because Verizon’s millimeter wave 5G network has so limited geographical coverage already. And the unlimited hotspot data doesn’t apply to using any other frequencies. It may not be worth switching carriers if they’re offering better deals elsewhere, but it could be worthwhile for some people who want unlimited mobile broadband access at home.

3Mbps speeds after hotspot limit reached

According to Verizon Wireless, there’s no way to avoid paying extra if you want an additional device added to your plan. After reaching its quota, any customer who signs up for service after that time period will receive access to either 3 Mbps (for 5G Ultra Wideband connections), or 600 Kbps (for 5G Long Term Evolution connections). Verizon’s “5G nationwide” service includes both 5G deployments on spectrum previously used for 4G (LTE), and on any other spectrum including mmWaves and CBand. If you want to connect up to 15 devices using 4G/LTE cellular service, you must be in one of these two bands. Beyond Unlimited isn’t the only plan impacted by the new rules. If you’re currently using a limited number of gigabytes per month on your smartphone hotspots, then starting next year, that monthly allotment will be applied across both 4G and 5G devices. So if you use 2GB/month now, you won’t get another allowance until January 2019.

Verizon promises up to 170 Mbps download speed

Verizon announced today that they’re going to be rolling out LTE service using their C-band spectrum starting next month. They expect to cover over 100 million Americans by mid-summer and provide typical download speeds of up to 170 Mbps and typical upload speeds of up to 30 Mbps. And they say they’ll be able to achieve these numbers even though most of the country won’t get access until later this decade because they’ve been planning for this deployment since 2014. Because of a disagreement between the FAA and two wireless carriers, the deployment of 5G networks has been postponed until at least June 2020, according to FCC documents obtained by Bloomberg News.

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