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5G is now free on Ryan Reynolds' carrier Mint Mobile

Your phone will automatically switch between 4G and 5G in available areas.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
Expertise News, mobile, broadband, 5G, home tech, streaming services, entertainment, AI, policy, business, politics Credentials
  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert
2 min read
Mint Mobile 5G

Mint Mobile has added 5G for free to all phone plans.

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile now provides 5G access to all customers free of charge, the company announced Tuesday. The carrier, which is owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, uses T-Mobile's 4G LTE and 5G networks for coverage. On all plans, a 5G-compatible phone will switch from 4G to 5G depending on whichever signal is strongest in your current location.

"Every Mint plan has 5G for free ... unlike some of our competitors," Mint Mobile said.

"It seems we may never know what 5G is, so we're just going to give it away for free with every plan until we figure that out," Reynolds said in a video.

Mint Mobile's introductory three-month plans cost $15 a month for 3GB of data, $20 a month for 8GB, $25 a month for 12GB and $30 a month for unlimited data. Pricing is the same on its 12-month plans but is slightly more expensive on a six-month option. Plans also include unlimited talk and text, free calling to Mexico and Canada and free mobile hotspot capabilities.

"No 5G signal goes farther (others can be blocked by things like leaves)," Mint Mobile said, adding it uses low-band 600MHz spectrum "because it's the one that benefits you the most."

Read more: Verizon vs. AT&T vs. T-Mobile compared: How to pick the best 5G carrier for you

The three major US carriers use different radio waves for their 5G networks: Verizon uses high-band millimeter-wave 5G spectrum, which is limited to traveling short distances and being blocked by solid obstacles like buildings and trees, while AT&T uses 850MHz spectrum for its low-band 5G network.

T-Mobile also uses low-band 600MHz spectrum -- which has better range but slower speeds -- but is now also integrating Sprint 's midband 2.5GHz spectrum since the carrier's $26.5 billion merger with Sprint went through in April. 

You can check out Mint Mobile's coverage map here to see if there's 5G service in your area.

From Apple to Samsung: 5G phones available right now

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