Verizon vs. Dash 5G throwdown: Lightning-fast community speeds are only the start


Consider 5G and also you consider pace — wherever from 2x to 10x what you get with 4G, as a begin. However after two assessments of Verizon’s 5G community in Chicago and one in Dallas with Dash, it is clear that obtain speeds are only the start of what a satisfying 5G expertise is. Consistency and protection are simply as necessary as unimaginable peak speeds and lightning-fast real-world downloads. 

For instance, Verizon’s area assessments had been sooner than Dash’s on the entire, however our check with Dash revealed the significance of a wider protection space general. The outcomes of those two assessments aren’t wherever close to a conclusion that both community is “higher.” Proper now they’re each saddled with challenges and rising pains that might even intensify as extra folks start utilizing the networks. Our time with these budding networks is a crucial litmus for our sooner future. 

We’re nonetheless a great distance off from 5G’s broader purposes, like serving to self-driving automobiles 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 quick run, it’s possible you’ll not be capable to absolutely really feel the consequences of next-generation 5G speeds till these networks are extra constructed up, extra telephones grow to be accessible, and the value of possession drops. Nonetheless, the truth of 5G’s means to make your obtain speeds exponentially sooner is undeniably clear and taking place now.

And now, this is how Verizon and Dash’s 5G assessments examine.

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

5G community footprint: Dash wins right now

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

If the DOJ approves the merger, the newly strengthened T-Cell will likely 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 check on the LG V50


Dash stats

  • 5G cities right now: 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.”
  • Whole space: 2,180 sq. miles; 11.5 million folks

Verizon stats

: See dwell 5G protection wherever on the earth

Sprint 5G

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

Lynn La/CNET

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

That is an imperfect comparability in lots of methods. Verizon and Dash use completely 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 assessments are a bit slower than Verizon, however nonetheless the true deal.

Lynn La/CNET

Actual-world assessments are extra spectacular than you’d suppose

Peak speeds are one factor, however what you will actually care about is how rapidly your exhibits and flicks can obtain. We downloaded a few of the similar apps and exhibits in Chicago and Dallas to attempt to examine. It isn’t apples to apples, after all, due to testing constraints which have us in numerous cities, on completely different networks utilizing completely different telephones at completely different instances (and in as soon as case, a distinct 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 Cell (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 stated there have been points at this location

The takeaway right here is that 5G will likely be sooner 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 check in Dallas had us in a bus and automobile driving across the metropolis whereas seeing obtain speeds move between 5G and 4G. We had been in a position to check 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 finest once you’re inside a line of sight and 100 to 300 ft away. Protection zones are smaller and the sign is extra finicky, simply obstructed by bushes, automobiles, raindrops — you title it. 


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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

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

What does all of it imply?

Verizon has the higher hand with regards to constantly quick 5G speeds … when you possibly can really 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 stated, these assessments are nonetheless finest considered demonstrations, since they’re tightly monitored by the carriers and since there are just a few folks utilizing the community at a time. When folks begin pinging the 5G networks in droves, that would be the actual check of community pace, congestion and comfort.

After all of the discuss, it is invigorating to see 5G networks come to life. However they nonetheless have such an extended strategy to go.

Lynn La contributed to this story.

Initially printed Could 31 at 11:30 a.m. PT.
Replace, June 1 at 10:13 a.m. PT: Added extra particulars.
Replace, June 2 at 9:32 a.m. PT: Added extra particulars.


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