Verizon, AT&T, and even Comcast are all offering 5G connectivity options to their customers, but availability is still a sticking point for many. Whether or not you'll have access to the tech when you sign up for a 5G plan depends heavily on where you live, and a full, nationwide rollout is probably still a few years away.
To make things even more complicated, for at least some cellular providers, current 5G iterations aren't even full 5G. Verizon's network, in particular, has only offered next-gen speeds for downloads; uploads were still running on 4G LTE connections.
To be clear, the average user is probably going to be downloading far more data than they upload, to begin with, so we're not saying existing 5G plans aren't still a sizable improvement. However, for consumers who don't necessarily read the fine print, it's quite easy to be misled here.
Fortunately, things are changing today, at least for Verizon. The company has officially enabled 5G uploads for most regions where the tech is already supported. For now, uploads still won't be quite as blazing-fast as 5G downloads, but it will be about 30 percent speedier on average. That should be a noticeable improvement for most users, though we hope full-speed downloads arrive soon.
If you haven't signed up for a 5G plan yet, you certainly aren't starved for choice. Most major wireless carriers now offer the technology in some capacity, though, as we've said, coverage will vary from provider to provider, and there's a good chance it won't be available in your area for now.
Nonetheless, you can check your city's coverage on Verizon's official 5G webpage (or the equivalent page for your phone company).
Middle image credit: KHTS
Verizon enables 5G uploads in 35 cities, boosting speeds by 30 percent