One of the biggest pieces of news from Apple’s iPhone 12 event isn’t dependent on the iPhone 12 itself. Verizon (Engadget’s parent company) has revealed that it’s finally rolling out its nationwide 5G network (that is, sub-6GHz) starting today. The network should cover over 200 million people in 1,800 cities and towns, rather than the handful of cities that have fast-but-quirky millimeter wave access.
Verizon also reiterated that it was expanding that mmWave access to more areas, with a total of 66 cities covered by the end of 2020.
The expansion was arguably necessary even before the iPhone 12 debut. Rivals like AT&T and T-Mobile already had lower-band 5G networks that were readily accessible. Now, all three major carriers offer at least some kind of easy-to-find 5G. These networks won’t be quite as fast as their mmWave counterparts, but they should still offer an improvement over LTE in the right circumstances.