What is 5G home internet? Why all this noise? Separating fact from fiction

What is 5G home internet?  Why all this noise?  Separating fact from fiction

Are you tired of being attached? Internet providers or Internet providers With onerous contracts, slow speeds, restrictive terms, and high fees? you are not alone. a The 2023 Customer Survey showed that ISPs are the second-lowest-rated industry in the country. Yes, even less than airlines, social media, health insurance companies, and the US Postal Service. Yes! Often, though, We feel like we have no options and fewer alternatives. Could 5G be the solution?

The technology that powers the latest phones also wants to meet our home broadband needs. A strong internet connection at home is vital either Work from home Or decompress with the latest video games. The oldest 5G home internet plans, available from names like Starry, Verizon and T-Mobile, offers respectable speeds at a modest price – but availability is limited to specific cities and regions. At CNET View all major 5G servicesWe have details on how it works, how fast it costs, and where it is available.

1. What is 5G home internet?

Simply put, 5G means fifth generation. Fifth generation of what? Fifth generation wireless data networks. You’re probably more familiar with the 5G hearing aid used in the description Better mobile communications And faster phones. You’re not wrong: 5G networks, which use different radio frequencies than previous generations, are intended to provide faster data speeds with much less lag or lag than was the case with 4G.

My colleague CNET Eli Blumenthal does a great job of breaking down the basics of 5G. Millimeter wave technology uses higher frequencies than previous generations, providing faster speeds and connections. But those faster gigabit speeds come at a price – data doesn’t travel as far as 4G and has more problems with obstructions. To combat this, mid-band technology, which provides speeds on average between 300 and 400 Mbps, increases the coverage area provided by millimeter waves. Finally, low-band 5G offers similar range to 4G but with speeds between 100 and 200 Mbps.

2. Is 5G home internet the same as 5GHz?

no. One common mistake is to see the “5GHz” setting on your Wi-Fi router and assume that you have access to 5G. Wi-Fi routers Also use short-range radio frequencies — typically 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz — to transmit your Internet signal to connected devices within your home. So 5GHz is one band option for your home’s Wi-Fi system, but it’s not the same as 5G, which is a cellular technology that uses high-frequency waves.

Coaxial cable with connector

Cable, DSL, and fiber Internet plans require wires that connect your home to the provider’s network. Fixed wireless services, such as 5G, connect your home to your service provider’s network over the air.

Taylor Martin/CNET

3. How is 5G home internet different?

Most ISPs offer Internet service over phone lines or cables that connect your home to a more comprehensive network. This includes common Types of Internet connectionLikes Digital subscriber line, Coaxial cable And Fiber optic internet. Those are all Wired Communications from your provider to your home.

5G home internet, on the other hand, is stable Wireless Internet service, which means that the connection between your service provider and your home is not wired. With 5G, you’ll need an indoor or outdoor 5G receiver in your home to pick up the signal. It’s similar to Satellite Internet, but instead of sending a signal from the satellites you see orbiting in the night sky, it transmits information from a much closer radio center. Even though you’re using the same 5G network as your mobile phone, the gateway is specific to your location and can’t be used anywhere else.

4. What companies provide 5G home internet service?

5G is still rolling out across the country. For this reason, the number of providers currently offering any 5G home internet plan is relatively limited. For example, AT&T It offers 5G mobile service, but its fixed wireless solution did not use its 5G network. But that changed in mid-2023 when AT&T announced that AT&T Internet Air would begin using it in 16 markets across the United States.

But for now, your main options for 5G home internet are Starry, T-Mobile, and Verizon. All prices listed on this page reflect discounts available for paperless billing. If you decide not to go with automatic monthly payments, your monthly bill will be higher. Now, let’s explore what each has to offer.

communication

Fixed wireless

How fast

50 – 1000 Mbps

Price range

$30 – $80 Per month

we took – Starry is a relatively new player in the ISP space. The company launched in 2016 but does not rely on 5G connectivity. It does not use 5G NR radio technology, which is the focus of mobile phone service providers. However, it uses millimeter wave technology as an important aspect of providing fixed wireless home internet to customers. “We operate in the 24GHz and 37GHz spectrum bands, and our network technology is the same across all our markets,” a Starry spokesperson said.

Or call to learn more: () –

Check with the stars

communication

Fixed wireless

How fast

50 – 1000 Mbps

Price range

$30 – $80 Per month

Stellar internet plans and prices

Plan Maximum speeds Monthly price Equipment fees Data ceiling a contract
Star connection Download at 30Mbps and upload at 30Mbps $15 no one no one no one
Starry core Download 50Mbps and upload 50Mbps $30 no one no one no one
Identify the stars 100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload $30 no one no one no one
Starry Plus 200Mbps download and 100Mbps upload $50 no one no one no one
Starry Pro 500Mbps download and 250Mbps upload $65 no one no one no one
gigabit stars 1000Mbps download and 500Mbps upload $80 no one no one no one

Show more (1 item)

communication

Fixed wireless

How fast

72 – 245 Mbps

Price range

$50 Per month

we took – T-Mobile Home Internet has the lowest broadband speeds among our listed providers. That’s because it oscillates between 4G LTE and 5G. It’s not 5G exclusively. T-Mobile “expects” the average download speed for most customers to be between 72 and 245 Mbps. When CNET tested T-Mobile’s service in 2021, we reached a top speed of 132 Mbps.

Or call to learn more: () –

Check with T-Mobile

communication

Fixed wireless

How fast

72 – 245 Mbps

Price range

$50 Per month

T-Mobile Home Internet plans and prices

Plan Maximum speeds Monthly price Equipment fees Data ceiling a contract Price guarantee
T-Mobile home internet Download at 72-245 Mbps, upload at 15-31 Mbps $50 ($30 for eligible cell phone customers) no one no one no one Yes

communication

Fixed wireless

How fast

85 – 1000 Mbps

Price range

$50-$70 Per month

we took – Verizon’s 5G Internet service, which uses Ultra Wideband 5G technology, features peak download speeds of up to 1 Gigabit and average speeds of around 300 Mbps. However, upload speeds are not symmetrical and will reach 50Mbps or less because Verizon does not use millimeter wave technology exclusively, but rather a mix of low-band, mid-band, and millimeter waves.

Or call to learn more: () –

Check with Verizon

communication

Fixed wireless

How fast

85 – 1000 Mbps

Price range

$50-$70 Per month

Verizon 5G Home Internet plans and pricing

Plan Maximum speeds Monthly price Equipment fees Data ceiling a contract Price guarantee
Verizon 5G Home Page 50-300Mbps download, 5-20Mbps upload $50 ($35 for eligible Verizon mobile customers) no one no one no one 5 years
Verizon 5G Home Plus 85-1000Mbps download, 10-70Mbps upload $70 ($45 for eligible Verizon mobile customers) no one no one no one 5 years

5. Where can you get 5G home internet?

Let’s not exaggerate this: 5G home internet is not yet available everywhere. While the list of cities seems to expand almost every month, most of them are larger US cities.

T-Mobile Home Internet is the most widely available service of the three distinct providers. while Verizon said in 2022 5G home internet service is now available to 40 million homes, and T-Mobile has gone beyond that by expanding service availability of its fixed wireless service to more than 50 million households. However, T-Mobile admits that it does not have unlimited availability across those locations due to network capacity.

Verizon’s 5G home internet service is currently offered in about 900 markets. This means that although the total number of households with availability is lower than T-Mobile, it covers more cities.

Internet of stars is available at Boston, Denver, Angels, New York City And Washington, DC.

6. Is 5G home internet right for you?

The first thing to say is what we always say regarding ISPs. No matter how good a service is, it’s all moot if it’s not available at your address. 5G technology is still being rolled out across the country, so we should expect to see some bumps in the road as these efforts continue.

However, the availability of 5G home internet is increasing at a very rapid pace. The straightforward and affordable pricing is quite attractive – and what jumps off the page for me. Time will tell if this trend will continue as availability continues to expand. However, it would be a real step forward if 5G emerged as a viable broadband option for traditionally underserved parts of rural America. As CNET alumnus Rick Broida said after testing T-Mobile’s service, “Shortages are more likely when you’re paying less than half what you were paying before.”

Frequently asked questions about 5G home internet

Is 5G home internet cheaper than other types of connectivity?

5G home internet is one of the more affordable options available due to the decent download speeds that current plans average — T-Mobile averages just over 100 Mbps, Starry chimes at 200 Mbps, and Verizon averages 300 Mbps. The lowest monthly cost among the three major providers is $15 (low-cost Starry option) and the highest is $70 (Verizon 5G Home Plus without the Verizon mobile discount). But each provider’s monthly costs include all fees, taxes, equipment and installation fees. So the monthly fees you see are the monthly fees you pay. Finally, none of them require fixed-term contracts, so you won’t have to fear any early termination fees.

Is 5G fast enough for home internet?

In theory, 5G should enable a fast connection that matches or improves on what you get with cable or fiber internet. But that’s not usually the case when it comes to the reality of 5G home internet. To increase the reliability and coverage of 5G internet service, most providers are relying on a mix of millimeter wave, low-band and mid-band technology – as well as 4G LTE in some cases – meaning home internet customers won’t have to. See the true cutting-edge potential of 5G today. But you should see more than the 25 Mbps broadband minimum and higher average speeds than typical satellite and digital subscriber line (DSL) internet plans.

What does the “G” stand for in 5G technology?

It simply means generation. In other words, 5G is the fifth generation of cellular technology.

What is the difference between 5G home internet and cable internet?

Cable Internet — whether it’s coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, or a combination of the two — relies on wires to transmit data from a central hub to your home. But 5G home internet is a fixed wireless solution that uses an internet gateway to connect your home using radio frequencies to connect to a nearby cell tower or data center.

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