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The three-way race for which carrier has the best 5G network has been officially going for a long time, but until now, the carrier that has the lead here is widely considered to be T-Mobile. But that doesn't mean that other carriers aren't competing. Verizon, as it turns out, just got a big win with its own 5G network, as it just got an important boost in several parts of the country.

Verizon has published several press releases detailing major upgrades to its 5G network in several parts of the country, including major cities such as New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego. Despite them being separate announcements, the underlying reason for all of them is the same — Verizon has just gained access to more C-band spectrum. More specifically, the company has just gained full access to the full spectrum it was awarded back in 2021, and as a result, the company has already gotten to work in flipping on that spectrum to improve the 5G connectivity it provides to users.

Users in the many cities this change is taking effect on will be able to use 160 MHz of spectrum, which Verizon says it's nearly tripling what users previously had access to. Reportedly, some might even be able to access a full 200 MHz. In theory, this should mean better speeds and higher bandwidths, although even if you're getting the full range of spectrum on your phone, your mileage may vary because of several different factors. Verizon says that this represents a big improvement for rural areas, where 5G service could occasionally be spotty. The carrier says that users in up to 158 mostly rural markets will be able to access the full 200 MHz of spectrum it just got access to.

The catch is that Verizon doesn't let everyone use its C-Band and mmWave 5G networks, which the company collectively calls "5G Ultra Wideband." If you're on an older or less expensive plan, you might only have the slower sub-6GHz 5G, which Verizon just calls "5G." For example, Verizon's $65 per month (for one line) "Unlimited Welcome" plan does not have C-Band 5G, but the $80/mo "Unlimited Plus" plan does. T-Mobile doesn't restrict parts of its network in the same way for higher-paying customers, so the Magenta carrier is still winning in that department.

The changes should be live now, but Verizon might still be flipping on some switches. I you don't see an improvement now, there's a chance you'll see it sometime within the next few weeks.

Source: Verizon