How fast is Verizon 5G UW?

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Ever-improving and increasing 5G services can make our lives as livestreamers and consumers easier. So I was excited to see the 5GUW mark on my phone on a visit to Des Moines. The UW stands for ultrawideband. But how fast is this new ultra network, and how does it compare to others?

How do you get 5GUW?

First off, you need a phone with 5G capabilities – like the iPhone 13. Then once you enter a 5GUW area, you’ll automatically get access. For example, as I moved through the hotel, my phone switched from LTE to 5G and 5GUW.

How fast are LTE, 5G, and 5GUW in comparison?

Of course, I wanted to give it a test run and see the difference in speeds. You can run an internet speed test right from the Google search page. I just had to wait for my phone to switch between the networks to test the different velocities.

Testing internet speed includes testing two types of speed – download, and upload.

What is download speed?

Download speed is consumption. If you watch YouTube TV or Hulu, that’s a download activity. The higher that number is, the easier it is to consume content.

What is upload speed?

Livestreamers and content creators would care even more about upload speed. Upload capabilities affect the quality of your live streaming video or audio – like LinkedIn Audio. The higher this number, the easier it will be to livestream, send video snippets, and the like.


Let’s start with LTE. I was able to get a 20.7 Mbps download speed, and 10 Mbps upload speed. For mobile, that’s not horrible.

How fast is LTE?

Hotel Wifi

In comparison, my hotel Wifi in Des Moines had a slower download (15.2 Mbps) speed but a higher upload speed (19 Mbps).

hotel wifi

Verizon 5G

Verizon 5G was about a third faster on downloads (27.5 Mbps) than LTE and almost three times faster on uploads with 28.4 Mbps. That certainly would make a difference on a livestream.

5G speed

Verizon 5GUW

The 5G ultrawideband speeds were quite frankly unbelievable. With 100 Mbps download speed, that’s almost four times regular 5G. And with around 80 Mbps on the uploads, that’s about three times faster than standard 5G. So, in short: If you can stream on 5GUW – yay!


Using 5GUW certainly is worth it when you can get it. It can make our streams better when we are out and about and rely on wifi data. And in some cases, ultrawideband might even be faster than available Wifi. 

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