Plus: Your options for compensation.

Big Phone Providers Over Promised on 5G

Did your phone provider lie about 5G speeds and access? You may be able to claim compensation, and our team can help you.

Were you excited when 5G networks were introduced in your area? Did your phone provider make big promises on what you would receive once the networks reached your area but their promises were empty? 

You are not alone. 

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Many consumers of top cell phone carriers realized very quickly that their cell phone providers inflated the promises for what 5G networks would provide and once the hot-air was released, there was very little left. However, you may have options for compensation if big phone providers over-promised on the 5G service you paid for.

What is 5G?

5G stands for the fifth generation of mobile networks. When global wireless networks began, they started with the first generation or 1G and from there improved and expanded their services to link multiple devices and machines together through 2G, 3G, 4G, and now 5G. Each new network included faster speeds and better coverage. 

When was it introduced and which big phone providers use it?

5G wireless technology is designed to reduce latency, provide better availability, higher data speeds, and better network capacities and by extension, better reliability. 5G networks were introduced around the world in 2018, and in recent years were adopted by top cell providers across America including most major carriers like:

The Promises Companies Made

The top three carriers made many promises especially that 5G networks would decrease latency and increase the capacity of the mobile networks. For anyone whose cell phone plan includes throttling when cell towers are busiest (which is just about any cell phone plan) this opportunity indirectly promised to do away with decreased speeds during busy hours, and better coverage everywhere.

In fact, these same providers promised that availability would be maximized, with advertisements claiming that 5G networks would provide unlimited speeds all across America. It was said that 5G would provide 10 times the speed compared to 4G with speeds in the gigabytes per second range instead of the megabytes per second range, something that would allow for things like virtual reality to be used on whatever device you have. 

5G was said to expand the mobile broadband experience by making everything safer from transportation to remote healthcare, by way of linking any type of device through a unified interface.

How does 5G work and where?

5G uses antennas, multiple input and multiple output antennas, known as MIMO. These large, and numerous antenna elements or connections allow for data to be sent and received quickly. 

5G is available across a handful of major cities, depending on your service provider. For example: Verizon has 5G across approximately 25 states in major cities like Salt Lake City Utah, Denver Colorado, Austin Texas, San Francisco California, and Los Angeles California. T-Mobile and AT&T have similar coverage options, again in about half the states and only in the most heavily populated areas.

Below is the coverage map for Verizon:

Map of Verizon 5G coverage

Below is the coverage map for AT&T:

Below is the coverage map for T-Mobile:

T-Mobile Map of 5G Service

The Reality of 5G

The reality is that people still experience throttling, and the purported increased speeds and availability simply haven’t yet manifested. Moreover, unlimited speeds all across America are still out of reach for most of America, with many people unable to even access 5G.

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Why is 5G sometimes slower than 4G?

It all comes down to frequencies. 

  • When you answer a call from your mother, you are using low frequencies on your cell phone. 
  • When you check your bank account, play a game, or shop online, you use high frequencies. 

When you transmit things like voice, text, or data, your phones use a small radio antenna to do so. There are lower frequencies that carry your text and voice but higher frequencies that improve internet speed. 

The problem is the higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength and that means you get incredibly fast internet but only for a physically limited area with 5G. Lower frequencies on a 5G network can span hundreds of square miles but the maximum internet speed provided is still very slow, between 30 Mbps and 250. These speeds are only marginally better than what you get with 4G today.

The higher frequencies can get up to 3 gigabytes per second for internet speed but they can only take place in less than 1 mile and walls can interfere with the high frequencies, further reducing the speed you get on a 5G network when you are inside. The denser your urban area is, such as on a crowded train inside a big station or in your office in a big building, the harder it will be for those high frequencies to get through and maximize their speed.

Which companies have the worst 5G?

According to OpenSignal the average 5G speeds were found to be as follows:

  • 494.7 Mbps for Verizon
  • 60.8 Mbps for AT&T
  • 49 Mbps for both T-Mobile and Sprint

So far AT&T and T-Mobile are competing for the slowest 5G network coverage with an average download speed of 103.1 Mbps which is on par with Verizon’s 4G network.

You may have options to claim compensation for poor 5G speeds

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Verizon has installed more high frequency components in select cities to try and counter this slow 5G problem, but even then the key word here is “select” which means if you don’t live in a big city like New York or Chicago or Los Angeles, you probably won’t have that with your Verizon carrier.

T-Mobile and Sprint are better with the mid band speed, but recently, 5G availability has been found to be 17% slower than 4G in the same city. 

What customers are reporting

Customers like you have submitted their poor 5G experiences to our experts at Fairshake. Here’s what they had to say…

One T-Mobile Customer stated: 

“When I first entertained the idea of switching to T-Mobile, I did what I thought proper research. The most important being making sure coverage was in my area. When I enquired about it, I was told I would receive “excellent” signal around my address. After agreeing and buying 4 new phones, I get them home to find out I have no signal. I call them and that is when they tell me I don’t have excellent signal, in fact, it is poor to none. I bought a signal booster to hold me over until I get the phones paid off. Then the 5G phones came out. Once again, I was told if I upgraded to 5G my signal would improve drastically. I got the phone and still no signal without a booster and now my phone loses signal not just around my house but in bigger cities like Evansville and Indianapolis. I called to complain, that is when I was told by a T-Mobile technician that if I bought a new 5G sim card he “100% guarantees” it would fix the problem. Still the issues remain and they suggest I get a new phone to see if that will fix it.”

Verizon customers did not fare much better. One Verizon customer explained, “The 5G that was a mandatory upgrade for the new Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max does not work at a faster speed as they claimed. It actually runs slower. The price increased tremendously on the monthly bill. 

A second Verizon customer noted:

“Verizon misled me to buy the Samsung S20 ultra with false advertising. They stated that the device is the best on the market and will run on 5g. I am only able to use 5g in certain areas and my 4g service is extremely slow. My signal for this phone will drop all the time and I am not able to make calls, receive calls or text messages. I have been calling for months complaining about my phone and they only want to send me the same phone which I tell them it’s a problem with the devices themselves. I am paying for 5g service that I am not able to use because you barely receive 5g service at all. Every time I call and complain I am passed around and transferred from one representative to the next.”

What you can do if your 5G is slower than promised

It’s possible that you can get compensation from your phone company if your 5G service or device is not what was promised to you when you purchased it. Let our expert FairShake team help you submit a claim and win. Tell us what happened below.




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