Verizon vs. Dash 5G throwdown: Battle for the very best speeds and protection thus far


After two checks of Verizon’s 5G community in Chicago and one in Dallas with Dash, we’re beginning to see an image of what sort of 5G  speeds and providers you possibly can count on within the US — each by way of peak speeds and real-world downloads. 5G is coming whether or not you need it or not, and our time with these budding networks is a vital litmus for our quicker future. Evaluating our experiences with Verizon and Dash exhibits us that whereas quick speeds are on the coronary heart of the 5G promise, speedy downloads aren’t all the things.

For instance, Verizon’s discipline checks had been quicker than Dash’s on the entire, however our take a look at with Dash revealed the significance of a wider protection space total. The outcomes of those two checks aren’t wherever close to a conclusion that both community is “higher.” Proper now they’re each saddled with challenges and rising pains that would even intensify as extra individuals start utilizing the networks. 

We’re nonetheless a great distance off from 5G’s broader functions, like serving to self-driving vehicles immediately discuss to one another on the street, distant surgical procedure, flawless video calls and graphics-heavy video games you play in actual time. Even within the brief run, you could not be capable of absolutely really feel the results of next-generation 5G speeds till these networks are extra constructed up, extra telephones turn into obtainable, and the value of possession drops. Nevertheless, the truth of 5G’s potential to make your obtain speeds exponentially quicker is undeniably clear and taking place now.

And now, here is how Verizon and Dash’s 5G checks evaluate.

Learn: 5G is actual and Verizon, Dash and EE have the networks to show it

5G community footprint: Dash wins in the present day

Dash claims victory in turning on a bigger 5G community by sq. footage than Verizon. Nevertheless, Verizon is the most important US community by inhabitants protection, whereas Dash is presently fourth. Nonetheless, Dash’s robust begin with 5G makes it a sexy bargaining chip within the proposed merger between Dash and T-Cellular. 

If the DOJ approves the merger, the newly strengthened T-Cellular shall be in a strongly aggressive place to tackle Verizon and AT&T (which has a community for 5G hotspots however has not but invited journalists to publicly field-test them.)

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Placing Dash’s 5G to the take a look at on the LG V50


Dash stats

  • 5G cities in the present day: Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Value, Houston and Kansas Metropolis
  • 5G telephones: LG V50,  Galaxy S10 5G coming in June
  • Extra 5G cities introduced: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York Metropolis, Phoenix and Washington, in “the approaching weeks.”
  • Complete space: 2,180 sq. miles; 11.5 million individuals

Verizon stats

: See reside 5G protection wherever on the planet

Sprint 5G

The V50 ThinQ is LG and Dash’s first 5G cellphone.

Lynn La/CNET

Verizon is over 2x quicker than Dash’s peak speeds

We field-tested Verizon and Dash speeds in two alternative ways. First, utilizing the Speedtest.internet benchmarking app to measure speeds in numerous areas round every metropolis. Second, we downloaded apps, motion pictures and TV exhibits to see how briskly the community and telephones dealt with real-world actions.

Peak obtain speeds in Chicago had been quicker on our second go to, and greater than twice as quick as Dash’s quickest velocity on the LG V50 in Dallas. 

Verizon peak 5G velocity: 1.3Gbps downlink (gigabits per second)
Dash peak 5G velocity: 484Mbps downlink (megabits per second)

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See Galaxy S10 5G’s jaw-dropping real-world speeds


For reference, our quick house web speeds may hover within the 400Mbps vary.

Verizon’s community 5G velocity superiority would not cease at peak speeds. Our 5G outcomes from that the majority current trek to Chicago persistently spanned 400Mbps to over 1Gbps, and we broke by means of the 1Gbps barrier 4 instances in a 4-hour testing interval. 4G speeds had been additionally quicker the place we examined 5G.

That is an imperfect comparability in loads of methods. Verizon and Dash use totally different spectrum (radio frequencies). Verizon makes use of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, which produces extraordinarily quick speeds to a focused space. Dash, nonetheless, makes use of midband frequencies, which cowl a relatively bigger space however are a bit slower, therefore the 400Mbps peaks. 


Dash’s 5G obtain checks are a bit slower than Verizon, however nonetheless the actual deal.

Lynn La/CNET

Actual-world checks are extra spectacular than you’d assume

Peak speeds are one factor, however what you may actually care about is how shortly your exhibits and films can obtain. We downloaded a few of the similar apps and exhibits in Chicago and Dallas to attempt to evaluate. It isn’t apples to apples, after all, due to testing constraints which have us in numerous cities, on totally different networks utilizing totally different telephones at totally different instances (and in as soon as case, a unique season of the present — oops). 

Verizon 5G versus Dash 5G

Galaxy S10 5G (Verizon) Galaxy S10 Plus (Verizon) LG V50 (Dash) LG G8 (Dash)
PUBG Cellular (1.86GB) 2.5 minutes ~Three minutes Three minutes, 31 seconds 73MB (3% of the file) after 3.5 minutes
Wine Nation film (143 minutes) 8.2 seconds Little progress after 2 minutes Three minutes, 45 seconds* No progress
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 1 (Eight episodes) N/A N/A Four minutes First episode did not obtain after Four minutes
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 2 (10 episodes) ~5 minutes 1 episode in Four minutes N/A N/A

*Dash later mentioned there have been points at this location

The takeaway right here is that 5G shall be quicker than its 4G counterpart in methods you possibly can actually see.

Dash beats Verizon on consistency

The place Dash actually pulls forward was in citywide protection. Our take a look at in Dallas had us in a bus and automotive driving across the metropolis whereas seeing obtain speeds move between 5G and 4G. We had been in a position to take a look at on the go, and there was a bigger space of town and Dallas outskirts outfitted with protection.

In the meantime in Chicago (we did not get an opportunity to check in Minneapolis), 5G areas acted extra like hotspots. They work greatest whenever you’re inside a line of sight and 100 to 300 toes away. Protection zones are smaller and the sign is extra finicky, simply obstructed by timber, vehicles, raindrops — you identify it. 


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The mmWave spectrum that Verizon makes use of can also’t penetrate indoors or by means of glass, so you possibly can’t get the profit in case you’re driving in a automotive or inside your office … but. Bear in mind, 5G continues to be in painfully early days.

That bigger protection space confirmed in our Dallas checks, however once more, this was one metropolis with its very specific geography, and Dash took its time to assemble its community. Verizon clearly rushed on the primary take a look at, which is one motive the community (and Samsung) invited journalists again to take a look at the Galaxy S10 5G.

What does all of it imply?

Verizon has the higher hand in relation to persistently quick 5G speeds … when you possibly can truly latch onto the community. Dash confirmed us how slower-but-broader 5G protection can nonetheless profit you with faster-than-4G downloads throughout the board. 

That mentioned, these checks are nonetheless greatest regarded as demonstrations, since they’re tightly monitored by the carriers and since there are only some individuals utilizing the community at a time. When individuals begin pinging the 5G networks in droves, that would be the actual take a look at of community velocity, congestion and comfort.

After all of the discuss, it is invigorating to see 5G networks come to life. However they nonetheless have such a protracted technique to go.

Lynn La contributed to this story.

Initially revealed Could 31 at 11:30 a.m. PT.
Replace, June 1 at 10:13 a.m. PT: Added extra particulars.


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