What is 5G UW? – Overview
The 5G UW network is the fastest network service offered by Verizon, available to millions of people in the US. Compatible Android devices and iPhones can use this 5G UW network service. If the status bar of iPhones and Android devices displays 5G UW and UWB, it indicates the devices are connected to a super-fast Verizon network.
What Does 5G UW Mean? – Definition
All the major carriers in the US started rolling out the 5G network as a part of their plan a few years ago. There are multiple types of 5G, such as 5G UC, 5G+, and 5G UW. It can be really confusing sometimes to differentiate between them.
Here is what 5G UW means: The 5G UW network signifies the Ultra Wideband 5G network offered by Verizon. This indicates that the users are connected to a millimeter wave (mmWave) or a mid-band (C-band) 5G network. In some devices, the 5G UWB sign also denotes Verizon’s 5G UW network.
Verizon and 5G UW
5G UW refers to both mid- and high-band 5G networks as Ultra Wideband. However, UW only refers to the high band network called mmWave. Though Verizon tried to promote this network, it only exists in limited areas, and the signal is very hard to find. In 2022, Verizon introduced the mid-band 5G network in major cities as ultra-wideband.
The 5G UW icon on your phone indicates that your device is connected to a mid-band network. You will notice a huge difference in data speed if you are connected to mmWave.
Low Frequency, C-Band and mmWave
5G connections can rely on different spectrums and operate at different frequencies. The 5G network frequencies can be split into three different ranges.
The first one is the low-frequency spectrum. Anything under about 4GHz can be considered a low-frequency spectrum. It can travel a long way and penetrate any obstacle and large buildings. The low-frequency spectrum is more convenient and easy to use. It can help to develop widespread 5G coverage.
It does not offer high speed. The average download speed is around 100 Mbps. Sometimes it is higher, but it never crosses the 200 Mbps.
You must move to a higher frequency spectrum, like C-band, to receive a higher speed. C-band is a mid-frequency or mid-band that covers the 4-8 GHz frequency range. The carriers in the US are considering the 3.7-3.98 GHz range to be the C-band.
This range can increase your network speed. However, it is not as good as the lower frequency at passing all obstacles or serving in a long range. TechRadar recorded 474.51 Mbps speed using the C-band 5G network. It is mostly used all time.
The third one is millimeter wave or mmWave. It refers to the frequency of 24 GHz and higher. This spectrum is not widely used like the lower frequency. The usage of mmWave is quite limited in the US. You can get a speed of over 1 Gbps and the best user experience with mmWave.
However, offering mmWave can be tricky sometimes. It has multiple disadvantages that make it less popular and less used. First, it’s unable to cover a long range. It performs very badly with obstacles or large buildings.
What About Sub-6GHZ?
Sub-GHz is something that covers all the widely used 5G bands that are not mmWave. Therefore, the lower frequency 5G and C-band frequency can be considered as sub-6GHz. Any spectrum below 1 GHz can not be considered as a sub-6GHz range. These low frequencies fall into the low band or a closely related category.
Difference Between 5G Ultra Wideband and Ultra Wideband
5G UW or 5G Ultra Wideband is a term that Verizon strictly uses for marketing purposes. It is unrelated to Ultra Wideband (UWB) Radio Technology.
Ultra Wideband is a radio technology that requires a broad spectrum of frequencies. In addition, it operates at a low power level. It makes Ultra Wideband an ideal replacement for NFC or Near Field Communications Technology.
However, 5G UC or 5G Ultra Wideband is a marketing term for Verizon’s fastest and highest capacity 5G network services. Verizon chose this name because it feels like a cool way to promote its fastest 5G network services.
Verizon offers the 5G UW network, which is the fastest network ever. The term 5G UW indicates 5G ultra wideband. Your connection to the fastest network is confirmed if your device shows the 5G UW icon.