Verizon vs. Dash 5G throwdown: Lightning-fast community speeds are just the start – CNET

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Consider 5G and also you consider velocity — anyplace from 2x to 10x what you get with 4G, as a begin. However after two checks of Verizon’s 5G community in Chicago and one in Dallas with Dash, it is clear that obtain speeds are just the start of what a satisfying 5G expertise is. Consistency and protection are simply as vital as unbelievable peak speeds and lightning-fast real-world downloads. 

For instance, Verizon’s subject checks have been quicker than Dash’s on the entire, however our check with Dash revealed the significance of a wider protection space total. The outcomes of those two checks aren’t anyplace close to a conclusion that both community is “higher.” Proper now they’re each saddled with challenges and rising pains that might even intensify as extra individuals start utilizing the networks. Our time with these budding networks is a vital litmus for our quicker future. 

We’re nonetheless a great distance off from 5G’s broader purposes, like serving to self-driving vehicles immediately speak to one another on the highway, distant surgical procedure, flawless video calls and graphics-heavy video games you play in actual time. Even within the brief run, it’s possible you’ll not have the ability to absolutely really feel the results of next-generation 5G speeds till these networks are extra constructed up, extra telephones turn out to be accessible, and the worth of possession drops. Nevertheless, the fact of 5G’s capacity to make your obtain speeds exponentially quicker is undeniably clear and taking place now.

And now, this is how Verizon and Dash’s 5G checks examine.

Learn: 5G is actual and Verizon, Dash and EE have the networks to show it

5G community footprint: Dash wins right this moment

Dash claims victory in turning on a bigger 5G community by sq. footage than Verizon. Nevertheless, Verizon is the biggest US community by inhabitants protection, whereas Dash is at the moment fourth. Nonetheless, Dash’s robust begin with 5G makes it a horny bargaining chip within the proposed merger between Dash and T-Cell

If the DOJ approves the merger, the newly strengthened T-Cell shall be in a strongly aggressive place to tackle Verizon and AT&T (which has a community for 5G hotspots however has not but invited journalists to publicly field-test them.)

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Placing Dash’s 5G to the check on the LG V50


Dash stats

5G cities right this moment: Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Price, Houston and Kansas Metropolis5G telephones: LG V50,  Galaxy S10 5G coming in JuneExtra 5G cities introduced: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York Metropolis, Phoenix and Washington, in “the approaching weeks.”Whole space: 2,180 sq. miles; 11.5 million individuals

Verizon stats

: See stay 5G protection anyplace on the earth

Sprint 5G

The V50 ThinQ is LG and Dash’s first 5G cellphone.

Lynn La/CNET

Verizon is over 2x quicker than Dash’s peak speeds

We field-tested Verizon and Dash speeds in two alternative ways. First, utilizing the Speedtest.web benchmarking app to measure speeds in several places round every metropolis. Second, we downloaded apps, films and TV reveals to see how briskly the community and telephones dealt with real-world actions.

Peak obtain speeds in Chicago have been quicker on our second go to, and greater than twice as quick as Dash’s quickest velocity on the LG V50 in Dallas. 

Verizon peak 5G velocity: 1.3Gbps downlink (gigabits per second)
Dash peak 5G velocity: 484Mbps downlink (megabits per second)


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See Galaxy S10 5G’s jaw-dropping real-world speeds


For reference, our quick dwelling web speeds would possibly hover within the 400Mbps vary.

Verizon’s community 5G velocity superiority would not cease at peak speeds. Our 5G outcomes from that the majority latest trek to Chicago constantly spanned 400Mbps to over 1Gbps, and we broke by the 1Gbps barrier 4 occasions in a Four-hour testing interval. 4G speeds have been additionally quicker the place we examined 5G.

That is an imperfect comparability in loads of methods. Verizon and Dash use completely different spectrum (radio frequencies). Verizon makes use of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, which produces extraordinarily quick speeds to a focused space. Dash, nonetheless, makes use of midband frequencies, which cowl a relatively bigger space however are a bit slower, therefore the 400Mbps peaks. 


Dash’s 5G obtain checks are a bit slower than Verizon, however nonetheless the true deal.

Lynn La/CNET

Actual-world checks are extra spectacular than you’d assume

Peak speeds are one factor, however what you may actually care about is how rapidly your reveals and flicks can obtain. We downloaded a few of the similar apps and reveals in Chicago and Dallas to attempt to examine. It isn’t apples to apples, in fact, due to testing constraints which have us in several cities, on completely different networks utilizing completely different telephones at completely different occasions (and in as soon as case, a distinct season of the present — oops). 

Verizon 5G versus Dash 5G

Galaxy S10 5G (Verizon)

Galaxy S10 Plus (Verizon)

LG V50 (Dash)

LG G8 (Dash)

PUBG Cell (1.86GB)

2.5 minutes

~three minutes

three minutes, 31 seconds

73MB (three% of the file) after three.5 minutes

Wine Nation film (143 minutes)

eight.2 seconds

Little progress after 2 minutes

three minutes, 45 seconds*

No progress

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 1 (eight episodes)



Four minutes

First episode did not obtain after Four minutes

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 2 (10 episodes)

~5 minutes

1 episode in Four minutes



*Dash later stated there have been points at this location

The takeaway right here is that 5G shall be quicker than its 4G counterpart in methods you possibly can actually see.

Dash beats Verizon on consistency

The place Dash actually pulls forward was in citywide protection. Our check in Dallas had us in a bus and automobile driving across the metropolis whereas seeing obtain speeds move between 5G and 4G. We have been in a position to check on the go, and there was a bigger space of town and Dallas outskirts outfitted with protection.

In the meantime in Chicago (we did not get an opportunity to check in Minneapolis), 5G areas acted extra like hotspots. They work finest while you’re inside a line of sight and 100 to 300 toes away. Protection zones are smaller and the sign is extra finicky, simply obstructed by bushes, vehicles, raindrops — you identify it. 

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The mmWave spectrum that Verizon makes use of can also’t penetrate indoors or by glass, so you possibly can’t get the profit if you happen to’re driving in a automobile or inside your office … but. Bear in mind, 5G remains to be in painfully early days.

That bigger protection space confirmed in our Dallas checks, however once more, this was one metropolis with its very specific geography, and Dash took its time to assemble its community. Verizon clearly rushed on the primary check, which is one purpose the community (and Samsung) invited journalists again to check the Galaxy S10 5G.

What does all of it imply?

Verizon has the higher hand with regards to constantly quick 5G speeds … when you possibly can really latch onto the community. Dash confirmed us how slower-but-broader 5G protection can nonetheless profit you with faster-than-4G downloads throughout the board. 

That stated, these checks are nonetheless finest considered demonstrations, since they’re tightly monitored by the carriers and since there are just a few individuals utilizing the community at a time. When individuals begin pinging the 5G networks in droves, that would be the actual check of community velocity, congestion and comfort.

After all of the speak, it is invigorating to see 5G networks come to life. However they nonetheless have such a protracted option to go.

Lynn La contributed to this story.

Initially revealed Might 31 at 11:30 a.m. PT.
Replace, June 1 at 10:13 a.m. PT: Added extra particulars.
Replace, June 2 at 9:32 a.m. PT: Added extra particulars.


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