Cellular Sales independently operates this site and is a Verizon Authorized Retailer.
woman looking at smartphone in kitchen

5G Nationwide vs 5G Ultra Wideband: What’s the difference?

In 2019, Verizon began slowly rolling 5G out to select cities. Then in late 2020, CEO Hans Vestberg debuted the branding for Verizon 5G Nationwide. Since then, the wireless provider’s expansion of their powerful network has continued quickly to cities and towns all across the country. As a result, more and more customers have made the switch and are enjoying the increased performance, connectivity, and capacity of 5G.

Previously, we covered the 5G basics and what you should know about Verizon 5g, but you may have questions about some of the finer details. For example, how much faster is 5G than 4G/4G LTE? What’s the difference between Nationwide and Ultra Wideband 5G? Is it available to you and when will it be in your area? We break down the answers below, so keep reading.

two teens taking selfie with Samsung smartphone in kitchen

What is 5G Nationwide?

5G Nationwide runs on lower spectrum bands alongside 4G LTE simultaneously. Using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). By combining both technologies at the same time, the carrier can maximize convenience for both sets of customers with no interruption in service. Users continue to experience consistent performance and connectivity even in more remote areas of the country.

Verizon’s Nationwide 5G service is available to the majority of the country, with 2,700+ cities covered. 

Teen lounging on couch with Apple Airpods Pro and Samsung smartphone

What is 5G Ultra Wideband?

Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband uses high-band, ultra-wide mmWave spectrum. This delivers the fastest, most powerful 5G on the market today. 

To imagine Ultra Wideband, picture a massive multi-lane freeway, with all sorts of vehicles traveling smoothly at high speeds within inches of each other. Ultra Wideband’s speed and near-zero lag mean that we can expect increased performance for everyday activities, like multi-player gaming, high-def streaming, and video. But the staggering capacity of 5G Ultra Wideband also promises a brighter, more immersive and interactive future for medicine, public works, entertainment, smart cars, and home appliances.

Ultra Wideband 5G is available to customers in select cities. Access requires a qualifying Unlimited plan within a 5G UW coverage area and a 5G-capable device, including:

mom with teen kids sitting on couch looking at Samsung smartphone

Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband speeds

5G service has the ability to perform leaps and bounds better than the previous 4G/4G LTE standard in three critical areas:

Speed: 5G Ultra Wideband offers peak download speeds of 4+ Gbps and upload speeds of 200+ Mbps. In contrast to average 4G speeds of about 30-35 Mbps, that means you’ll be able to download an entire 4K definition movie nearly as fast as you can click on the title. 

Latency: 5G Ultra Wideband provides super low-latency, meaning online gaming, streaming on Disney+ and discovery+, video chatting, and AR feel like they’re happening in real time with virtually no time spent buffering.

Capacity: Ultra Wideband 5G has the ability to handle enormous capacity, meaning it offers reliable performance in places like stadiums, airports, and other crowded venues. So you’ll experience fewer bottlenecks where thousands of people use their phones at once.

family playing game with Apple iPhone on couch

Verizon 5G Nationwide vs. 5G Ultra Wideband

There’s no need to choose. Both 5G Nationwide and Ultra Wideband – with the right plan and compatible devices – offer you high quality, exceptionally fast, low lag wireless performance. When you’re in an area where Ultra Wideband or Nationwide is available, you’ll be able to automatically connect.

When leaving an Ultra Wideband-covered area, you’ll remain on the 5G Nationwide network, so you don’t lose coverage. And even if you’re not in a 5G area, you’ll still have access to the provider’s dependable countrywide 4G/4G LTE network, so you can stay connected virtually anywhere.

Verizon 5G coverage map

Verizon 5G coverage map

Coverage is already available in a majority of the US, reaching 230+ million people. Along with a $50 billion expansion to bring 5G to more people, Verizon also offers 5G Home, a home internet solution now available in 33 cities and counting, along with these newly added locations: 

  • New Orleans, LA
  • Fresno, CA
  • Riverside, CA
  • San Antonio, TX

Check out the 5G coverage map to learn whether Nationwide and Ultra Wideband are available in your area.

person using smartphone and smartwatch while working out

5G phones

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro and other 12 series models are created to work seamlessly with 5G connectivity. Built with a powerful A14 Bionic chip and upgraded iOS, it also comes in a range of sizes and colors (including the newly-released purple version). Other options, like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, come with 8K video and its fastest processor yet. Or try out the Motorola Edge+, which has an immersive 6.7” Endless Edge display with HDR10+ and 90 Hz refresh rate.

Join a revolution in speed, connectivity, and power. Visit a Cellular Sales store to shop our 5G phones and other devices poised to make your transition to 5G as smooth as possible.

Founded in 1993, Cellular Sales proudly serves as Verizon’s premier retail partner.  With almost 800 locations nationwide and more than 7,000 employees, we proudly connect customers with top-tier products and services.  We were recently named the Verizon Agent of the Year 2021 and have been named to Inc. Magazine’s 5000 as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies nine times. For more information, visit cellularsales.com or follow us on social media at facebook.com/cellularsales and @cellularsales on Instagram.  For career information, visit cellularsales.com/careers.