Verizon's 5G service is going to be getting a big boost later this year when it adds some new midband 5G spectrum. The nation's largest carrier, known as C-band, which can offer significantly faster speeds than its existing "nationwide" 5G network and better coverage than its fastest millimeter-wave offering.
While the improved network won't be available until December, Verizon on Wednesday announced that a few of its phones already support the spectrum, including last year'sand the , as well as the recently released . Verizon Consumer Group CEO Ronan Dunne added that all upcoming 5G phones on the carrier will support the frequency, which can provide peak download speeds of 1 gigabit per second.
On Thursday the carrier confirmed to CNET that its other 2020 5G devices -- even those still being sold today -- will not be able to take advantage of the faster spectrum, even if you have one of the "premium" unlimited plans that Verizon requires for this network. This includes the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 lines, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 foldable and the LG Wing.
The issue, at least for some of the phones, appears to be whether the devices have the necessary support for the C-band frequency. As it's a hardware feature, there's no way to enable or add access to the airwaves with a software update if it is not already inside the phone. Since the modems inside the iPhone 12, Galaxy S21 and Pixel 5 already support the spectrum, all they will need is a software update later this year to be able to access the faster 5G network.
It's worth noting that these other 5G phones will continue to work fine on 4G LTE and 5G, and the service should even improve as the carrier continues to upgrade both networks. However, with more peoplebefore upgrading, Verizon customers looking to buy a new device now should keep this in mind before making a purchase.