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T-Mobile to identify fast connections with “5G UC” label on phones

(Graphic by The Desk)

A T-Mobile executive says the company will roll out a new feature on some Apple iPhone models that lets customers know when they are connected to the company’s fastest 5G network.

When Apple’s newest iPhone begins shipping to T-Mobile customers later this month, the phone company will let subscribers easily identify the difference between its slower 5G network that uses low-band spectrum and its faster 5G connections that use its faster, milli-meter wave and mid-band spectrum.

Connections on the slower end of the spectrum will continue to display a “5G” logo, with speeds slightly faster but otherwise comparable to T-Mobile’s legacy 4G LTE network, while faster connections will display a new “5G UC” icon, the executive said.

The “UC” stands for “ultra capacity” and refers mainly to T-Mobile’s ability to provide faster download and upload speeds on its milli-meter wave and mid-band spectrum.

The move is similar to one taken by Verizon, where faster 5G connections on that company’s milli-meter wave spectrum are labeled “5G UW,” with the “UW” standing for “ultra wideband.”

AT&T does not employ a similar branding technique, though it does refer to some LTE connections as “5G E,” which an advertisement review board recently determined was misleading to consumers.

The board said the label misled consumers into thinking AT&T’s “5G Evolution” brand was the same as 5G. The challenge was initiated by T-Mobile. AT&T agreed to stop using the “5G Evolution” claim in its advertising, but continues to use it on some network connections.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).