Google Pixel 5Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

What you need to know

  • The Google Pixel 5 and LG Wing have been cleared by the FCC to access faster C-band 5G frequencies.
  • Currently, the only other phones that support C-band 5G frequencies are Samsung's latest Galaxy S21 series and Apple's iPhone 12 lineup.
  • C-band 5G is expected to offer significantly higher speeds than the current "nationwide" 5G from Verizon and AT&T.

The Google Pixel 5 and LG Wing have been cleared to access C-band 5G frequencies by the Federal Communications Commission, according to a report from PCMag. LG and Google can now push a software update to enable C-band access on the two phones. Until now, Samsung's Galaxy S21 and Apple's iPhone 12 lineup were the only phones with C-band support in the U.S.

C-band networks are expected to deliver much faster speeds than "nationwide" 5G from AT&T and Verizon, along with a better range than Verizon's impressive UWB 5G network. However, C-band frequencies are expected to become available for use only by late 2021 or early 2022. Major U.S. carriers spent over $80 billion last month licensing C-band frequencies. While Verizon is reported to have spent approximately $30 billion, AT&T is said to have spent around $20 billion.

Per PCMag, the FCC filings specifically refer to the Verizon and AT&T variants of the LG Wing, and not the T-Mobile variant. This isn't surprising, as T-Mobile has similar mid-band frequencies and isn't quite as dependent as the other two major U.S. carriers on C-band.

While there are only a handful of devices with C-band support currently, a vast majority of flagship phones that will be released in the second half of the year are expected to support these frequencies. By next year, you can expect to find C-band support on the best Android phones across various price points.

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