Sub Total
Excluding delivery and voucher code discounts.
Go to basket

Free Delivery on all orders to UK mainland within 3 working days.

HP TECH TAKES /...

Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
What’s the Difference Between 5G vs. 5G UW vs. 5G UC

What's The Difference Between 5 G Vs. 5 G UW Vs. 5 G UC?

Linsey Knerl
|
When you look at the top left or right of your phone’s screen, you may notice some new icons in the area where your signal strength appears. Instead of LTE, there may be 5G or other unidentifiable letters.
To paraphrase a famous Jerry Seinfeld bit, what’s the deal with all the changes in cell signals? How does it affect your speeds? And what are 5G, 5G UW, and 5G UC?
Learn what these terms mean and why they matter in our simple 5G guide below.

What is 5G?

5G has dominated tech news headlines since it was widely deployed in 2019. It’s reportedly “faster” and offers access in areas with weak or limited coverage.
However, 5G is just the latest version of cell technology. We previously had 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G, but you may have never heard them referred to by those terms. To refresh your memory:
  • 1G was the first data network from the 1980s and brought us analog voice services.
  • 2G was the 1990s tech that gave us digital voice services, known as CDMA.
  • 3G, from the early 2000s, gave us the advancement of mobile data.
  • 4G (or LTE) was the latest generation of technology prior to 5G. Many phones still use it, and it includes all the things we think of when we use smartphones, i.e., “mobile broadband.”

5G offers more of everything you need

5G was designed to deliver multi-Gbps data speeds, more reliable connections, and a more uniform experience. It’s not just for cell phones, but for any compatible device. So, yes, that means your PC and other devices can use 5G wireless technology, too.
5G supports more traffic than 4G, too, with the capability to handle 100 times the user data requests at peak efficiency.

Minimal latency

5G claims to offer almost no latency, so it should feel instantaneous to use. Granted, how quickly you can download or pull up a webpage with 5G depends on more than your data. Your device’s capabilities, including memory and available resources, play a role, too.

The future of 5G

What can we expect with 5G? Innovators have made all kinds of promises. Some of the more forward-thinking initiatives include the launch of a “smart” transportation hub and using interconnected smart cars or even trains to communicate via the 5G network. On a more modest scale, we can see 5G to connect things in the home. The Internet of Things is technically employed through 5G capabilities as you read this article.

Are there any downsides to 5G?

What are the negatives of this type of technology? 5G has technological limitations, just like anything else. Concerns with 5G are largely related to security. Kaspersky claims that the following dangers are possible with any large-scale 5G use.

1. More points of entry for hackers

More data connection points mean more places of entry for cyberhackers. The decentralized security will require rigorous monitoring to protect every data point and keep dangers from spreading through the entire network.

2. Increased pressure on monitoring

High user traffic can put pressure on security monitoring. While there are benefits to more people accessing a 5G network, each additional user introduces risk. And it’s not easy to mitigate that risk after a set number of users. More speed and volume also mean more data sharing in the digital pipeline, which brings potential danger.

3. No comprehensive security standards

Since smart devices don’t have an all-encompassing security standard, many can be exploited. When almost anyone can create a connectible smart gadget, these devices introduce new weaknesses to the system. As your speaker, headphones, and even fridge connect to the network, they become points of weakness.
Additional concerns include the lack of encryption at some points in the network and that 5G tech is so new that not everyone will know how to stay safe online. Large-scale education and implementation will be a challenge.

Why 5G isn’t just “5G”

5G is more than 5G
5G is the general term for the entire umbrella of this new version of data technology. But as it encompasses different bands and capabilities, network carriers will use other options within 5G. They have already started to roll out their networks with names that differentiate what they offer.

What is 5G UW?

5G UW is Verizon’s version of high-band “mmWave” (millimeter wave) and mid-band 5G. It stands for Ultra-Wideband and is sometimes referred to as 5G UWB. If you are on that network while on a Verizon phone, you may see the UW icon on your phone screen.
When you use Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, you may not get the same band each time. Speeds vary, but it’s still known as “5G.” mmWave bands aren’t available in many places yet, so look for this to improve.

5G Nationwide vs 5G Ultra Wideband

Verizon uses the term “5G Nationwide” to refer to its low-band 5G, which is not as fast as the mid or high-bands. If your phone doesn’t show the UW logo, you are likely on this lower-tier network. It’s not significantly faster or better than 4G LTE, and it may be the only 5G you access on lower-priced phone plans. This is why it’s important to pay attention to what you pay for when you upgrade to 5G.

What is 5G UC?

5G UC is T-Mobile's version of 5G, which it also calls "Ultra Capacity." It includes high-band 5G but relies on mid-band spectrums offering 2.5 GHz. You'll see the 5G UC icon on your phone if you're in the range of one of the towers.
What if you see 5G without the UC? You’re using the lower-speed, low-band 5G network. T-Mobile calls this “Extended Range,” and it’s comparable to 4G LTE. It will likely become available in more areas as the company expands its high-band network.

What about 5G Plus?

AT&T’s 5G Plus offering appears as a 5G+ icon and lets you know you're in mid-band or high-band territory. It's most common in stadiums and large public gathering points, and you may see 5G Plus offered the next time you attend a sporting event or concert.
Outside of that area, you’re more likely to access the low-band network of 5G. On a related note, if you see 5G E on your phone, you’re accessing AT&Ts 5G Evolution network, a service that faced controversy over the years.

Which type of 5G is best?

The best 5G is the 5G you can access. Yes, high-band 5G is the fastest and most reliable, but it is still early in the game, and many of the 5G networks covering most places aren't there yet. You can experience the fast speeds with mid-band networks, as well.
In most cases, you can check your phone's screen to see whether you are in mid or high by the icon. You won't necessarily see which of the two you have, but you can notice it in the download speeds.

5G specifications by carrier

5G specifications by carrier
Here is the list of 5G offerings by the carrier for easy reference:
T-Mobile:
  • 5G UC (Ultra Capacity): Mid-band and high-band
  • 5G Extended Range: Low-band
AT&T:
  • 5G Plus: Mid-band and high-band
  • 5G Evolution: Low-band
Verizon:
  • 5G UW (Ultra Wideband): Mid-band and high-band
  • 5G Nationwide: Low-band
These terms may and likely will change, especially as more users hit the 5G networks and the capabilities expand. Each provider also works with smaller providers, such as pay-as-you-go plans to resell their network capacity.
Customers of Mint Mobile, Tracfone, or Republic Wireless, for example, may not know that these providers resell the 5G network space from the bigger players. A quick look at your phone screen can tell you if you’re accessing a provider’s mid and high bands vs. its low band.

Summary

5G is here to stay, and it's causing quite the buzz. For most users, it brings a more robust network with higher speeds and less latency to avoid driving mobile users to incredible levels of frustration.
With rural areas and other places still a long way away from offering the speedier 5G bands, most people will experience 4G speeds. Buying a 5G compatible phone provides access to fast speeds when you travel, which is good. It also means you don't have to upgrade your phone again when the network catches up.
If you live and work in a place with only low-band 5G, and it costs considerably more to upgrade, it may make sense to wait out the transition. If your wireless experience is sufficient, upgrading to a new 5G phone just to upgrade may not be the best move for your budget.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Disclaimer

Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by HP.com; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by HP.com are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with HP.com terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.

HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price

The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.

HP will transfer your name and address information, IP address, products ordered and associated costs and other personal information related to processing your application to Bill Me Later®. Bill Me Later will use that data under its privacy policy.

Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See http://www.microsoft.com.

“Best All In One Printer” and “the easiest printer you’ve ever had to set up” from Wirecutter. ©2020 The Wirecutter, Inc.. All rights reserved. Used under license. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-all-in-one-printer/

Get Marvel’s Avengers when you purchase HP gaming PCs with qualifying 9th gen or 10th gen Intel® Core™ i5, i7 and i9 processors. Redemption code will be sent out by email within 60 days of purchase. Limited quantities and while supply lasts. Offer valid thru 12/31/2020 only while supplies last. We reserve the right to replace titles in the offer for ones of equal or greater value. Certain titles may not be available to all consumers because of age restrictions. The Offer may be changed, cancelled, or suspended at any time, for any reason, without notice, at Intel’s reasonable discretion if its fairness or integrity affected whether due to human or technical error. The Offer sponsor is Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA. To participate you must create an Intel Digital Hub Account, purchase a qualifying product during the redemption period, enter a valid Master Key, and respond to a brief survey. Information you submit is collected, stored, processed, and used on servers in the USA. For more information on offer details, eligibility, restrictions, and our privacy policy, visit https://softwareoffer.intel.com/offer/20Q3-19/terms.

© 2020 MARVEL. © Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

The personal information you provide will be used according to the HP Privacy Statement (https://www8.hp.com/us/en/privacy/ww-privacy.html)