11/18/2019 Updated on  12/17/2020|Verizon News Archives

What frequency is 5G?

Find out what frequency 5G uses with help from Verizon, and learn about the speed and efficiency of this new cellular network and how it will benefit you.

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From 1G to 5G, all learn what frequency 5G uses and how that affects the speed and efficiency of the network. Some frequency bands within the radio spectrum will be used for 5G, including Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. The following information can help you learn what frequency 5G uses and how that affects the speed and efficiency of the network.

What is the radio spectrum?

To understand exactly how fast 5G technology is expected to be, it’s important to consider it in relation to other cellular network technologies. If you think back to high school physics, you may recall the electromagnetic spectrum. This includes all the different wavelengths/frequencies you may encounter: Gamma Rays, X-Rays, light and visible rays, microwaves, millimeter waves (mmWave), radio waves (including AM and FM radio) and more.

The radio spectrum includes frequencies between 3 kilohertz (kHz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). Early cellular networks, including 1G, operated at a frequency of 850 MHz and 1900 MHz. Then, 2G and 3G networks operated at additional frequency bands and spectrum around 2100 MHz, and 4G LTE technology operated at additional frequency bands and spectrum around 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 1.7/2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.5 GHz. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network operates at considerably higher radio frequencies than its early mobile counterparts.

5G, the newest generation of cellular network technology, is going to be the fastest of these networks, offering a huge leap forward in technology. The super fast speed of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband arises from its use of higher radio frequencies.

What frequency does 5G use?

Verizon uses several spectrum bands for its 5G offerings. 5G Ultra Wideband, Verizon’s millimeter wavelength (mmWave)-based 5G, operates at frequencies of about 28 GHz and 39GHz. This is considerably higher than 4G networks, which use about 700 MHz-2500 MHz frequency to transfer information.

To help with the features that 5G Ultra Wideband promises, including potentially supporting 1 million devices per square kilometer, the FCC has opened up vast amounts of bandwidth the mmWave spectrum for 5G. 

Verizon 5G Nationwide, on the other hand, operates on a different, low-band spectrum and uses Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). This DSS technology allows 5G service to run simultaneously with 4G LTE on multiple spectrum bands. Thanks to DSS, if you move outside of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband coverage area, your 5G-enabled device can stay on 5G technology using lower frequency bands.

What are 5G frequency bands, and what frequency band does 5G use?

Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network uses 28 GHz and 39 GHz mmWave spectrum bands. This will aid the network in speed and capacity, as a higher number of devices will eventually be able to operate on that high-frequency spectrum. To give you an idea, 4G latency is around 20-30 milliseconds, which means it takes that amount of time for information to travel between origin and receiver. 5G latency, though, is expected to someday reach below 10 milliseconds. 

Overall, 5G operating on mmWave is expected to improve user experience, and power new use cases such as industrial automation and the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart cities and those responsible for infrastructure management are expecting to rely on 5G’s capacity to handle all of the devices that require large amounts of data in short periods of time. The goal is to ensure that these devices can work reliably and securely in high-density areas like factories, airports and urban centers.

Be sure to learn more about what 5G is and how you can access Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network from home or a mobile device.

5G Frequency FAQs

  1. What is 5G Ultra Wideband?
    The Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service is the fastest 5G in the world.1 It uses the mmWave spectrum band at 28 GHz and 39 GHz.


  2. What is 5G Nationwide?
    Verizon’s 5G Nationwide coverage reaches over 200 million people, utilizing Dynamic Spectrum Sharing to run 5G service simultaneously with 4G LTE on multiple spectrum bands. 

1 Global claim from May 2020, based on Opensignal independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period January 31 – April 30, 2020 © 2020 Opensignal Limited.

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