Testing 5G: What 5G Speeds Will Be Like When the 2020 iPhones Launch

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Apple isn't planning to launch a 5G iPhone until 2020, but carriers in the United States and other smartphone manufacturers like Samsung are already testing 5G, which offers download speeds that are much faster than 4G.

Verizon invited MacRumors to Chicago to test its 5G network, giving us an idea of what 5G speeds will be like when we can use 5G networks on our iPhones in 2020.


Because there aren't iPhones compatible with 5G networks, we tested 5G speeds in Chicago with an LG V50 and a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, two smartphones that are Android-based.

Verizon has 5G in a few cities right now, in a limited number of locations, which is why we needed to visit Chicago to test it out. Verizon and other carriers are working on the 5G rollout, but it's a slow process that's still going to be ongoing even when 5G iPhones launch.

There are several 5G nodes scattered across Chicago right now, in the downtown area and in popular tourist areas near Willis Tower and the famous Bean.

In our testing with a 5G Android phone, we were able to hit download speeds of close to 2Gb/s, which is incredible compared to 4G LTE speeds. Near 2Gb/s was the fastest speed we saw, but since 5G is still new and still rolling out, there were inconsistencies.

Sometimes, a speed test on 5G could be under 100Mb/s, and then a retest right after would reach close to 1Gb/s. That's not unexpected because Verizon is using mmWave 5G that's super speedy, but can be impacted by nearby buildings, trees, windows, and sometimes, even heat from direct sunlight.

Verizon and other carriers have a lot of work to do on their 5G rollouts before 5G transfer speeds are ubiquitous, and even then, the highest speeds will be limited to urban areas due to the limitations of mmWave spectrum.

5G speeds in real world usage are impressive and are going to make the next-generation iPhones amazing. Streaming music and movies worked flawlessly, and we were even able to download an episode of Stranger Things (200 to 300MB) from Netflix in just a few seconds. PUBG, a 2Gb mobile game, downloaded nearly instantaneously on a 5G connection.

So when the 5G iPhones launch in 2020 and you're able to connect to a 5G network, you can expect flawless streaming, super fast download speeds for movies and games, instantly loading web pages, and more.

Verizon is still working on upload speeds, which are basically still relying on 4G and not taking advantage of 5G, but eventually, uploading content will be just as speedy.

Android manufacturers are rolling out 5G smartphones this year to be first, but iPhone users aren't likely missing much having to wait until 2020 just because 5G networks are still so limited and connectivity is still spotty as carriers like Verizon work to build out the connectivity.

Right now, Verizon is rolling out 5G to 30 cities, and it's available in Denver, Minneapolis, Providence, St. Paul, and Chicago, where we tested. It's not really clear what 5G pricing will be at when it's more widely available from all of the major carriers, but Verizon is so far saying it will be a $10 add-on to unlimited plans that currently start at $85 for a single line, although Verizon is waiving that fee during the early stages of the rollout.

For more on the 5G iPhone, the benefits of 5G, and how 5G will work, make sure to check out our 5G iPhone guide.

Article Link: Testing 5G: What 5G Speeds Will Be Like When the 2020 iPhones Launch
 

zahuh

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Oct 22, 2004
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Very impressive and can’t wait for the iPhone 5G.
I think the reason the game didn’t download on 4G at the end of the video is because of the limit for app download sizes a over cellular connection.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
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2Gb/s is disgusting. Cat5e doesn’t even pump beyond gigabit.

Of course it’ll be a lot less with real-world usage and more users, but those sorts of speeds wirelessly is disgraceful.

I’ve got a facehugger Netgear Nighthawk X6 router and I haven’t seen faster than 900Mb/s over wireless with the best 802.11ac device. To get those speeds wirelessly, even in optimum settings, is practically immoral. **** that’s fast.
 

realtuner

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2019
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Meaningless. Network/download speeds aren't the limiting factor in how our devices work/perform. LTE is already very fast and has much better coverage than 5G will (for several years).

This is just another feature that will be overhypoed as necessary when it will make practically no difference to the consumer.
 

ruka.snow

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Jun 6, 2017
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Fantastic download speed, but what about upload speed? Its all well and good if you can consume the internet in a second but we should be more interested in uploading content at high speeds too. I want to get TB's of photos up to my backup drive while on site, or upload a video to Youtube in the blink of an eye. And then the other thing missing here is the ping and responsiveness.
 

hagjohn

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I think it's not going to work well for anyone outside a major city. Even in a city, the higher speed is not going to penetrate buildings very well. I was thinking of waiting to get a 5G phone for my next purchase, but maybe not.
 
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bbednarz

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Nov 16, 2017
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Meaningless. Network/download speeds aren't the limiting factor in how our devices work/perform. LTE is already very fast and has much better coverage than 5G will (for several years).

This is just another feature that will be overhypoed as necessary when it will make practically no difference to the consumer.
It will make a difference in congested areas just as concerts, sports, parades, etc. The speeds are cool, but in the real world wont be noticed. More bandwidth in congested areas is gonna be the nice part.
 

WilliamG

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Mar 29, 2008
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Fantastic download speed, but what about upload speed? Its all well and good if you can consume the internet in a second but we should be more interested in uploading content at high speeds too. I want to get TB's of photos up to my backup drive while on site, or upload a video to Youtube in the blink of an eye. And then the other thing missing here is the ping and responsiveness.
And the data plans that aren’t costing a fortune.
 

BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
having suffered through years of 28.8 kbps dial up modem speeds, (which rarely even hit those speeds) I can really appreciate 2Gbps.
The fact that I know and experienced such with the times leads me to believe we are both old. :eek: Glad those days are over.

Edited to add: I believe T-Mobile has said thy won’t charge extra.