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5G Hype: Current 5G Networks Are Fast, But Coverage Is Awful (And Phones Get Really Hot)

Phillip Dampier August 5, 2019 AT&T, Broadband Speed, Consumer News, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Video, Wireless Broadband 5 Comments

Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile’s 5G launches are blazing fast, when you can find a signal, but your phone will also get blazing hot while using it.

The Wall Street Journal embarked on testing current 5G launches in several American cities and found speeds on 5G nearing 1,800 Mbps in some places, but the millimeter-wave frequencies most carriers are using for mobile 5G don’t travel far and are subject to disappear just by walking down the street, around the corner, or indoors.

Some devices with 5G support are also suffering from heat issues, sometimes causing phones to heat up to over 105° and drop 5G service in favor of less battery-intense 4G LTE. Network engineers admit they bring coolers filled with ice to cool down overheating 5G phones.

Only Sprint’s mid-band 5G network in Chicago offered a much larger coverage area that still worked after walking indoors, and devices remained cool to the touch while using it. But Sprint’s 5G service sacrifices performance for coverage, often topping out at around 200-300 Mbps.

The Wall Street Journal found a reporter, a tent, and some new 5G devices and sent them out to test some of America’s new 5G services. (5:39)

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Even if they get this stuff figured out, wireless carriers continue to place caps on so-called unlimited plans. 5G will be useless for people who stream and download a lot. I mean, I’ve heard from people who think 5G is the second coming that will replace all broadband in the country, but with the way the wireless plans are set up now, that’s just nonsense.


I’ll still take Ethernet, TYVM.

Matt M
Matt M

Why does anyone ever need speed that fast? For what? Streaming data to and from the ISS ?


We would all be much happier with reliable 4G network coverage everywhere. 5G’s speed is unnecessary.

Fix the damn coverage problem.


With the speeds they are “purposing” most kids will be out of data in an hour. Are they upping data limits to match the new speeds? I haven’t heard anyone say so yet.

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