. . . and Apple’s Mar 8, 2022 release of the new iPhone SE proves it.
The new iPhone SE was built without millimeter wave antennas, and that uncovers the deception that so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) were ever needed in residential zones . . . THEY WERE NOT!
Mar 11, 2022 Vergecast on the Lies of 5G
Listen for 8 Minutes . . . From the Beginning, Milimeter Wave was a Big, Fat Lie
- Nilay Patel at 7:45: the millimeter wave thing “was a lie and now we can all admit it was a lie.”
- Nilay Patel digs in some more at 8:15: “I feel very strongly about this . . . I will transmit my energy to you through this microphone.”
- Alex Cranz at 8:25: “You are already transmitting more energy than millimeter waves did.”
- Nilay Patel at 10:45: “Verizon redefined 5G Ultra wideband . . . now it doesn’t [just] mean millimeter wave, it now means both the C-Band and millimeter wave spectrum . . . sometime in January  Verizon changed the definition.”
- Dan Seifert at 11:30: “There was no press release that said 5G Ultra wideband now means C-Band.”
- Nilay Patel at 13:50: “It’s been at least ten years of 5G bullshit.”
- Dan Seifert at 14:05: “It’s been at least four years of 5G millimeter wave lies.”
- Nilay Patel at 16:25: “This new iPhone is proof that all of this fake out was just a lie . . . to raise prices.”
This is mainstream media, folks . . . this is what Wire America has been saying since 2016.
Is Verizon 5G 25-Times Faster? No.
Speed Test Results Reveal a Bait-and-Switch Deception
From May 2018 . . .
From Nov 2020 . . .
When I rejoined The Verge in 2018, my first big assignment looked like an absolute peach — fly to the gorgeous Hawaiian island of Maui, sip cool drinks on the sand (The Verge paid for my trip; we don’t accept junkets), and become one of the first journalists to experience blazing 5G speeds at a Qualcomm event. Instead, I found myself exposing a lie. The first real-world 5G test turned out to be a dud, the speeds misleading at best, covering up the fact Verizon and AT&T’s millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G wasn’t ready.
For the next three years, Verizon and AT&T successfully employed a fake-it-till-you-make-it strategy, enlisting politicians to help them “win” 5G as if it were some kind of “race.” Their fastest 5G networks ran on a chunk of spectrum called millimeter wave that’s speedy but so spotty you’d barely get a signal without a cell tower directly overhead. Meanwhile, powerful phone makers like Apple were complicit in rebranding LTE networks into things like “5Ge,” helping carriers mislead customers into thinking they’d already rolled out the new networks.
But it now seems the millimeter-wave 5G carriers have been slinging from the start was just a gigantic head fake — a way to stay in the game until their actually useful 5G spectrum was ready — spectrum from Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) that do NOT need to be installed on electric utility poles and light poles in residential zones in order to work; just like T-Mobile’s 600 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum, the C-band (3500-3700 MHz) spectrum can be deployed from equipment installed on existing macro towers. There is no need — at all — for any additional cell towers to be placed, constructed or operated in residential zones for the vast majority of urban and suburban America. The over-hyped, so-called “Race to 5G” was a BIG FAT LIE, from the beginning.
On Tuesday, Apple announced the 2022 iPhone SE, the first 5G iPhone for the United States that lacks millimeter-wave 5G antennas that AT&T and especially Verizon have doggedly insisted on for years. Instead of rejecting that iPhone or insisting that Apple make a special version for its millimeter-wave network, Verizon will simply . . . carry the phone. Verizon spokesperson George Koroneos confirmed to The Verge that the company will stock it in stores.
Why am I making such a big deal about this? You need to understand that things have not been normal in Verizon-land.
- Verizon pushed Google to create a version of its budget Pixel 4A 5G that cost $100 more to satisfy the carrier’s ridiculous demand that phones support barely-there millimeter wave service.
- The Verizon version of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 had less RAM and no microSD expansion so they could fit mmWave 5G.
- All of Apple’s high-end iPhones have had tiny picture windows for millimeter wave if you buy them in the United States, and for what? Personally, I’ve experienced a Verizon mmWave 5G signal with my iPhone mini a total of once.
Those are just the big tech companies: to my knowledge, every other smartphone manufacturer that sells phones in the US has been co-opted into producing exclusive “5G UW” phones for Verizon as well, which has until now meant mmWave. It’s been such a hard rule that when analyst Anshel Sag spotted the phone’s spec sheet, he immediately raised the possibility that Verizon might not carry the new iPhone SE at all.
— Anshel Sag (@anshelsag)
March 8, 2022
And yet, it will — because Verizon doesn’t need to pretend it cares about millimeter wave anymore. In fact, the company’s already rebranded away from it. Originally, cellular industry executives told me that millimeter wave was key because 5G needed to wow people with speed. But the joke since day one has been that it’s a scavenger hunt: fast when you find the one street corner where it works, but walk down the street or enter a building, and the signal evaporates.
But this January 22nd, over the protests of the airline industry, Verizon flipped the switch on C-band 5G, a best-of-both-worlds chunk of radio spectrum with far longer range than millimeter wave and far better speeds than low-band 5G. After years of the industry promising that 5G would get better, Verizon’s results suddenly looked great.
And because Verizon loves to look great, it’s already redefined its “5G Ultra Wideband” branding. Midband 5G is also “5G UW” as of February.
In January, the company’s own website defining these terms read:
5G Ultra Wideband is Verizon’s highest performing 5G. Our 5G Ultra Wideband network uses high band (mmWave) spectrum to deliver a top-of-the-line 5G experience.
Today, it reads:
5G Ultra Wideband is Verizon’s highest performing 5G. Our 5G Ultra Wideband network uses high band (mmWave) and mid-band (C-band) spectrum to deliver a top-of-the-line 5G experience.
But now that Verizon has reoriented its network around C-band — and invested heavily, $45.4 billion just for the spectrum alone — Verizon has no more reason to push millimeter-wave devices that barely deliver on 5G’s promise. What it needs is for people’s first 5G phone to actually give them a good 5G experience, and that’s exactly what the new iPhone SE is poised to do: those who upgrade from a previous model have the opportunity to go straight from LTE to C-band 5G. It’s one of the first major phones to support C-band out of the box.
I don’t think we’ve seen the end of 5G marketing bullshit, mind you: you may wonder for a long time to come whether you’re actually on Verizon’s C-band or millimeter-wave spectrum because of how the carrier now puts both of them under the same umbrella. There’s still plenty of room for AT&T-esque labeling shenanigans in areas where coverage isn’t as good as a carrier would like it to look, too. That’s been AT&T’s version of the fake-it-until-you-make-it strategy from the start.
But at least we can stop pretending that barely-there millimeter wave is the future. It only took three years, countless billions of dollars, an entirely different chunk of spectrum, and a lot of misdirection to make 5G a consumer reality.