1. consultant1027's Avatar
    I have the Samsung Factory Unlocked version of the S20+ (model SG-M986U1). This means the phone is not carrier-specific, it works on all carriers (CDMA, GSM) and supports both millimeter wave (Verizon 5G Ultra Wide UW) AND lower frequency band 5G (usually called Sub 6). The 5G UW super fast network is typically only available in highly populated areas (cities) because it that frequency signal doesn't travel very far and is easily blocked by buildings. However you will notce the Verizon 5G coverage map shows 5G as being pretty widespread across the country. Most of that is their Sub 6 5G Network which was launched in mid October 2020. The 5G Sub 6 network, to my understanding, is using some of the same frequency bands as 4G so essentially it's really an amped up 4G signal using what is called Dynamic Signal Sharing (DSS) (A lot of people don't understand all this.)

    I'm curious if there's anyone on the forums with a factory unlocked version of the S20 (typically the model number I think has a U at the end instead of VZW) can confirm if their phone shows a 5G icon when you are in sub 6 5G or does it show "LTE+" I read somewhere the unlocked phones show LTE+ because technically that is what Sub 6 band 5G using DSS really is and 5G in that case is more of a marketing term. Because different carriers use different terms for different networks, the factory unlocked phones can connect to all the different 5G networks but they can't accomodate all the different marketing terms. I'd also be curious if when connected to the millimeter wave 5G in the cities if these factory unlocked phones show the "UW" designation which is bascially a Verizon marketing term, or if the phone just shows "5G".

    There was also an article that talked about these phones needing a software update to use 5G and supposedly the updates were pushed out right after Verizon announced their Sub 6 5G network launch in mid October. But the author wasn't sure if the Factory Unlocked non-carrier specific models would receive the necessary update. Considering Verizon and Samsung just signed a 6.5 Billion Dollar agreement for SAMSUNG to further build out their 5G network, I would be very surprised if it were the case the factory unlocked models didn't get the update.

    My S20+ odel SG-M986U1 is showing Service Provider SW Ver. SAOMC_SM-G986U1_OYN-VZQ_QQ_0027 wondering if that's the 5G compatible version?

    The other thing is a lot of people just swap SIM cards when they get a new phone. With 5G in most cases, if your SIM card was issued may months ago, you need to go into the carrier store and have them give you a new 5G compatible SIM card. I honestly can't remember if my phone was showing LTE or LTE+ before and after SIM card change. I tested the bandwidth after the change and in a strong signal area got 60mbit download but I didn't have a pre-SIM swap test in that area to compare to unfortunately.

    I can't imagine how many consumers aren't aware of all these details but I suppose I'm in the minority of consumers that buy the factory unlocked version of my phones outright and don't finance it from the carrier like most people do making the price tags easier to swallow for people by spreading out the pain.
    11-29-2020 01:05 PM
  2. sulla1965's Avatar
    I have the unlocked s20 plus. When I briefly had t-mobile in the summer it showed 5g. I'm now back with Verizon prepaid. The s20 only shows lte in areas that my P5 on Verizon was showing 5g. I'm not sure why my s20 only shows lte when the p5 was showing 5g in the same area.
    11-29-2020 01:10 PM
  3. consultant1027's Avatar
    I spoke with Samsung Tech Support and they told me the sub 6 "5G" network will show LTE+ (as it's LTE DSS aka LTE+ not true 5F UW), so it won't show 5G on the S20. I confirmed on the Samsung Forum that a user with a Verizon model (not the factory unlocked global model) also shows LTE+. This is surprising as I would think it would cause some customer service issues from all the customers buying the new fangled "5G" phones and they don't see 5G on the screen. But unless you are in the city with line of site to a millimeter ultra wide band tower, the 5G network they show for the rest of the country is just 4G LTE using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) aka "sub 6 5G" On the factory unlocked phones, you will see there is a "Carrier SW Version" in software settings and it will be carrier-specific even though the phone model isn't carrier specific. This indicates to me, maybe it's a software choice the carrier has made. T-Mobile decided to label LTE DSS as 5G and Verizon is more correctly showing it as LTE+ and only showing 5G when you are on their UW network which is only in line of site of UW towers in cities.

    So my guess is, it really depends on the phone brand and model and carrier and how the carrier programmed the indicator rules in the carrier-specific software. Some carriers+manufacturers may be appeasing people by "spoofing" the 5G indicator when on LTE DSS sub 6 "5G" low/mid band network instead of giving a more true indicator of what you are actually on, LTE+.

    I suppose I could go into a Verizon store that doesn't have a 5G UW signal and ask them if it's normal to see LTE+ even though the store is in the "5G" (sub 6) coverage map. 5G UW is only in very few cities currently.
    11-30-2020 06:35 PM
  4. Kbnj123's Avatar
    I have the unlocked S20+ on Verizon and when I connect to a 5G ultra wideband tower it shows 5G with a small UW next to it on the display. People with the Verizon versions of the S20s received a software update in October and their displays show 5G when connected to a sub 6 5G tower. The unlocked versions haven't received the update. I read somewhere that the upcoming Android 11 will enable the unlocked phones to receive sub 6 Verizon 5G.
    KPMcClave and VidJunky like this.
    12-01-2020 02:38 AM
  5. consultant1027's Avatar
    I have the unlocked S20+ on Verizon and when I connect to a 5G ultra wideband tower it shows 5G with a small UW next to it on the display. People with the Verizon versions of the S20s received a software update in October and their displays show 5G when connected to a sub 6 5G tower. The unlocked versions haven't received the update. I read somewhere that the upcoming Android 11 will enable the unlocked phones to receive sub 6 Verizon 5G.
    This isn't what Verizon is saying. A Verizon Rep on the Verizon forum says:

    "I regret we are unable to detetrmine exactly how the unlocked phone may interact with our netowrk. I can confirm the Verizon version is Advanced LTE or LTE+ and 5G UW enabled but does not have 5G Nationwide which has similar speeds and performance to Advanced LTE."

    This would indicate to me the software update the pushed out, at least for the S20 has been only to enable the Ultrawide 5G thus far.

    https://community.verizonwireless.co...1195121#M82130
    12-01-2020 01:49 PM
  6. KPMcClave's Avatar
    This isn't what Verizon is saying. A Verizon Rep on the Verizon forum says:

    "I regret we are unable to detetrmine exactly how the unlocked phone may interact with our netowrk. I can confirm the Verizon version is Advanced LTE or LTE+ and 5G UW enabled but does not have 5G Nationwide which has similar speeds and performance to Advanced LTE."

    This would indicate to me the software update the pushed out, at least for the S20 has been only to enable the Ultrawide 5G thus far.

    https://community.verizonwireless.co...1195121#M82130
    The update did enable lowband ("nationwide") 5G on the Verizon vairants. I have a Verizon S20 FE (which is getting updates a couple of weeks ater the original 3 S20s and received the October update in question) and my update resulted in a 5G icon and increased speeds that I didn't have previously. It was not in an area with UW 5G.

    UW 5G works out of the box for compatible phones, as I udnerstand it. The unlocked regular S20 does not support UW 5G out of the box, though. I'm not sure a firmware uopdate can activate UW. It may be a hardware difference (see the S20 Verizon vairant's hardware differences).
    mustang7757 likes this.
    12-01-2020 10:24 PM
  7. Mike Dee's Avatar
    This isn't what Verizon is saying. A Verizon Rep on the Verizon forum says:

    "I regret we are unable to detetrmine exactly how the unlocked phone may interact with our netowrk. I can confirm the Verizon version is Advanced LTE or LTE+ and 5G UW enabled but does not have 5G Nationwide which has similar speeds and performance to Advanced LTE."

    This would indicate to me the software update the pushed out, at least for the S20 has been only to enable the Ultrawide 5G thus far.

    https://community.verizonwireless.co...1195121#M82130
    My S20 Ultra Unlocked on Verizon receives Nationwide 5G.
    KPMcClave likes this.
    12-02-2020 12:38 AM
  8. consultant1027's Avatar
    I believe the Samsung Rep was incorrect. On both these pages listing the S20+ and Ultra Software Updates. Software Update 7, from 10/14/2020, includes:

    "Brings 5G Nationwide access to your device! 5G Nationwide is available in 1,800+ cities. You'll see a 5G icon when you're in a 5G Nationwide coverage area. "

    https://forums.androidcentral.com/e?...token=s2uLp9WH

    https://forums.androidcentral.com/e?...token=L-tetjCq
    12-02-2020 02:25 AM
  9. consultant1027's Avatar
    Well I feel like I'm going in circles but now found a Reddit thread that confirms what I originally suspected.

    The Factory Unlocked (model ending in U1) S20 phones apparently have not got the update from Samsung yet to allow sub 6 5G connection. But there is a hack in that you can change the carrier network code to ATT even though you are on Verizon and it enabled the N5 band which is what Verizon uses for their "Nationwide 5G" To do this you dial *#272*your IMEI number# Then select ATT and Install and change network code only. Phone will reboot and now you will see 5G UW symbol.


    I tried the CSC change on my factory unlocked S20+. I ran three successive bandwidth tests on bandwidthplace.com before and after the change so 3 times on VZW and 3 times on ATT. As others have alluded to the LTE DSS Sub 6 Flavor of Verizon 5G is on average about the same speed as 4G LTE+. So I just turned it back to VZW and will wait for the update from Samsung. I'm surprised a month and a half later it still hasn't got the update to allow N5 band on Verizon.

    I'm also wondering is the S20 always show 5G UW when connected to any 5G including sub 6 5G and not actual millimeter wave ultra wide 5G? Or is that just a side effect of "spoofing" the ATT carrier code when actually on a Verizon network IMEI?
    12-02-2020 04:08 AM
  10. consultant1027's Avatar
    Ran across this WAPO article. "The 5G lie: The network of the future is still slow" Very well written, comprehensive and easy to understand.
    The carriers just don't want Holiday Shoppers reading this. Hits the nail on the head!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/techn...9/08/5g-speed/
    12-02-2020 06:19 PM
  11. Kbnj123's Avatar
    Just as a follow-up to my previous reply, I received Android 11 on my unlocked S20+ this morning and sure enough the display is now showing 5G on the Verizon network. Like I read in another thread, for US unlocked S20s, Android 11enabled Verizon Nationwide 5G, not an update from Verizon itself.
    12-21-2020 04:52 AM

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