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Cosmic Ray

DO Factory Unlocked Models Show 5G or LTE+ on Verizon Sub 6 5G Network?

I have the Samsung Factory Unlocked version of the S20+ (model SG-M986U1). This means the phone is not carrier-specific, it works on all carriers (CDMA, GSM) and supports both millimeter wave (Verizon 5G Ultra Wide UW) AND lower frequency band 5G (usually called Sub 6). The 5G UW super fast network is typically only available in highly populated areas (cities) because it that frequency signal doesn't travel very far and is easily blocked by buildings. However you will notce the Verizon 5G coverage map shows 5G as being pretty widespread across the country. Most of that is their Sub 6 5G Network which was launched in mid October 2020. The 5G Sub 6 network, to my understanding, is using some of the same frequency bands as 4G so essentially it's really an amped up 4G signal using what is called Dynamic Signal Sharing (DSS) (A lot of people don't understand all this.)

I'm curious if there's anyone on the forums with a factory unlocked version of the S20 (typically the model number I think has a U at the end instead of VZW) can confirm if their phone shows a 5G icon when you are in sub 6 5G or does it show "LTE+" I read somewhere the unlocked phones show LTE+ because technically that is what Sub 6 band 5G using DSS really is and 5G in that case is more of a marketing term. Because different carriers use different terms for different networks, the factory unlocked phones can connect to all the different 5G networks but they can't accomodate all the different marketing terms. I'd also be curious if when connected to the millimeter wave 5G in the cities if these factory unlocked phones show the "UW" designation which is bascially a Verizon marketing term, or if the phone just shows "5G".

There was also an article that talked about these phones needing a software update to use 5G and supposedly the updates were pushed out right after Verizon announced their Sub 6 5G network launch in mid October. But the author wasn't sure if the Factory Unlocked non-carrier specific models would receive the necessary update. Considering Verizon and Samsung just signed a 6.5 Billion Dollar agreement for SAMSUNG to further build out their 5G network, I would be very surprised if it were the case the factory unlocked models didn't get the update.

My S20+ odel SG-M986U1 is showing Service Provider SW Ver. SAOMC_SM-G986U1_OYN-VZQ_QQ_0027 wondering if that's the 5G compatible version?

The other thing is a lot of people just swap SIM cards when they get a new phone. With 5G in most cases, if your SIM card was issued may months ago, you need to go into the carrier store and have them give you a new 5G compatible SIM card. I honestly can't remember if my phone was showing LTE or LTE+ before and after SIM card change. I tested the bandwidth after the change and in a strong signal area got 60mbit download but I didn't have a pre-SIM swap test in that area to compare to unfortunately.

4 REPLIES 4
Astronaut

Re: DO Factory Unlocked Models Show 5G or LTE+ on Verizon Sub 6 5G Network?

don't be fouled by t-mobile free phone A11
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Re: DO Factory Unlocked Models Show 5G or LTE+ on Verizon Sub 6 5G Network?

This is the best asked question I've seen in a long time.
FYI, my phone and carrier is the same as yours. I have the LTE+ symbol, not the 5G symbol. My provider version is also the same . I don't live near a large city zip so no UW 5G.
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Cosmic Ray

Re: DO Factory Unlocked Models Show 5G or LTE+ on Verizon Sub 6 5G Network?

I chatted with Samsung Support and according to Samsung, when connected to Sub 6 5G (not ultrawide millimeter band 5G) the phone will show LTE+.  

 

I'm really surprised your provider version does the same because it seems to me you could end up with a customer PR/Support nightmare with all these people these holidays buying a "5G" phone and 90%+ of the time it shows LTE+ and not 5G on the display so they'd get swamped with people asking why their phone is not connecting to 5G.

 

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Re: DO Factory Unlocked Models Show 5G or LTE+ on Verizon Sub 6 5G Network?

Probably most people never look at the Status bar and don't even care.
Verizon needs to provide 3 different symbols for connections: 5Guw, 5G, and LTE.
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