You just got an iPhone 12. Do you need to pay more for a 5G plan?

Mashable 29 Oct 2020 08:17

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When Apple announced four new iPhones earlier this month, the company made it clear that 5G support was the line's biggest new feature and one that could change how you use your smartphone going forward. However, Apple did not promise that the future would be free.

After a couple of years of slow expansion and regional rollouts, every major mobile service provider in the United States now supports 5G. Not every carrier's 5G service reaches the same speeds or works in the same cities, but in the most technical sense, you can get 5G through all of them. 

Unfortunately, not everyone believes 5G should cost the same as the 4G LTE service you've been using for years. If you happen to buy an iPhone 12 and are expecting to jack into the 5G signal right away, you might have to pay a little extra to make that happen. Here is how every major carrier handles upgrading to 5G:


Let's start with AT&T, which was actually the original mobile carrier for Apple's very first iPhone back when it was called Cingular. Takes you back, right? No? Well, anyway, let's cover AT&T's 5G data plans.

If you pay for any of those, 5G should work on your new iPhone 12.

Again, anyone who subscribes to one of those plans can connect to a T-Mobile 5G network if they happen to be in the right place with an iPhone 12. 

Yes, the middle two plans are the same price. The differences lie in which perks you get (one offers Hulu, one offers Verizon cloud storage, for example), so 5G isn't affected. All four plans get access to Verizon's "5G Nationwide" service, which is a comparatively slower low-band 5G network with broader coverage. If you want access to Verizon's "Ultra-Wideband" network (which is limited in coverage but offers higher max speeds), you need to pay for any of the three higher-priced plans.

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