Iphone 12 5gSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • A new report says 5G on the iPhone 12 using Verizon may actually be slower than 4G.
  • That's because Verizon's "nationwide 5G" uses DSS, reusing 4G channels and resulting in slower speeds.

A new report says that Verizon's "nationwide 5G" is actually slower than using 4G on iPhone 12 in many locations.

As reported by PCMag:

Verizon's "nationwide 5G" may be seriously slowing down your new iPhone, a problem that also affects other new 5G phones such as the Google Pixel 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The fix? Turning off 5G if you can.

From the report:

In October, Verizon introduced "nationwide 5G" based on dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), which reuses parts of 4G channels for 5G. Phones will automatically prefer a 5G network over a 4G one, so Verizon customers will see that coveted 5G icon pop up. But it's all for show. Our most recent tests, using an iPhone 12 Pro in New York City, show that DSS 5G is frequently slower than 4G, and rarely faster. These results are similar to what we saw in October in Chicago with a Pixel 5.

A Verizon spokesperson reportedly said that "for most customers" its nationwide 5G offered similar speeds to 4G, as DSS is a new technology it is continuing to modify" As PCMag testing notes, in New York City, 5G data speeds on the iPhone 12 Pro were slower than 4G. PCMag says that DSS is "seriously holding back both iPhones and Android phones".

The report recommends turning off 5G unless users have UWB coverage, the only kind that can offer famed speeds of 1GBps+ on new devices like the iPhone 12. Apple touted 5G as one of the defining new features of its iPhone 12 lineup back at its launch earlier this year.