With Apple releasing its iPhone 12 lineup today, the company was quick to emphasize the new smartphones would support 5G networks.
In Canada, the CRTC has yet to launch its 5G wireless spectrum auction, so major wireless carriers won’t have the multiple gigabit 5G speeds as advertised in Apple’s 5G product videos.
According to New York City-based Sascha Segan, Lead Analyst for PCMag and well-known for his extensive cross-country speeds tests in Canada, he believes 5G with iPhone 12 on wireless networks in Canada won’t be a “game changer” just yet.
When asked to comment on iPhone 12 and what 5G speeds might look like here, Segan explained, “5G in Canada right now is basically just like adding one more 4G channel to the existing 4G network,” in an interview with iPhone in Canada.
“I’d expect to see speed bumps that are noticeable but not shocking, on the order of 50-100Mbps above current speeds in ideal conditions, and 30-50Mbps above current speeds in average conditions. It’s real, but it’s not a game changer,” said Segan.
Segan says the real difference in 5G speeds will be when Canada launches 5G wireless spectrum auction, which isn’t taking place until mid-2021.
“The game changer in Canada will come after the government auctions the 3500Mhz band in mid-2021, an auction which was delayed six months because of the pandemic,” details Segan. “When the carriers lay that down, you could see speeds of 300-500Mbps higher than what you do now.”
Will the iPhone 12 you’re about to pre-order support the 3500 Mhz band? “It looks like the iPhone 12 supports that upcoming band, which is called n78,” explains Segan.
Update: To be clear: mmWave 5G is not available on the iPhone 12 in Canada, as it’s USA-only for now.
The next PCMag speed tests for Canada’s wireless networks is currently underway, with Segan noting he’s finishing up driving as we speak. The full speed test report is slated to publish in early November, so stay tuned.
So while you will see some fast 5G speeds in Canada, “true” 5G won’t be here until the country’s wireless spectrum takes place next year. But in the meantime, let’s hope your data bucket today can feed the faster downloads speeds of today’s 5G. Sounds like you better open your wallet up to an ‘unlimited’ data plan from the Big 3, soon.