Why Does My Phone Say LTE Instead of 5G?

5G is the future, right? And in many places, the testing for 5G networks has started already and some areas now support 5G networks. So if you are in a 5G area and your phone says LTE instead of 5G then you must be confused, right?

Well, you are not alone with this issue. A lot of users have this question when they enter a 5G zone: why does my phone say LTE instead of 5G?

And in this guide, you are going to find some answers to this question. So let’s understand why your phone says LTE instead of 5G.

Understanding the Difference Between 4G LTE and 5G

why does my phone say lte instead of 5g

To understand why your phone says LTE instead of 5G, you will have to understand them first.

So when we talk about cellular networks, the letter “G” means generation. That makes 4G LTE the fourth generation and 5G the fifth. With each generation, we see improvements in cellular networks and the most significant improvement between 4G LTE and 5Gis internet speed.

5G is supposed to be way faster than 4G LTE in terms of internet speed. However, 5G is still very new and it is not implemented in a lot of areas. In fact, only a few places have 5G coverage as of now. But 4G LTE networks are now available in most areas around the world.

Why Does My Phone Say LTE Instead of 5G?


No 5G Support on Your Phone

No 5G Support Phone

Sometimes people just assume that their smartphone has support for 5G and that is not the case. As mentioned earlier, 5G is still relatively new so you will not find a lot of smartphones with 5G support. Only new smartphones launched in late 2021 and onwards have 5G support. Apart from that, only some flagship smartphones from 2019 and 2020 have 5G support.

So if you have an older smartphone with no 5G support, your phone will show you LTE instead of 5G.

No 5G Plan

no 5g Plan

Let’s say that you do have a 5G smartphone and you are in a region that has 5G support and still your phone is showing LTE instead of 5G. In that case, there is a chance that you have not upgraded to the 5G plan.

You will have to contact your network provider and upgrade your plan to 5G so that you can use the 5G networks on your smartphone.

5G Band Not Supported by Your Phone

There are different bands of 5G having different frequencies and if you have a 5G capable smartphone and still see LTE instead of 5G despite being in a 5G area then it is highly possible that your phone does not have the 5G band that is active in that area.

In many areas in the US, there is a 5G mmWave but in other areas, it is absent so that depends on the availability of the 5G frequencies in your area.

Adaptive Networks

This is the case with a lot of iPhone users. So the thing is, the new iPhones that are the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series now support 5G but there is a catch in the settings. Since 5G bands are power-hungry, Apple has added an adaptive network feature that automatically switches between 4G LTE and 5G depending on your use and speed.

So if you are doing normal browsing that does not require high-speed internet, your iPhone will switch to 4G LTE and if you are doing stuff like streaming or downloading, then it will switch to 5G. This setting is enabled by default on your iPhone and it saves a lot of battery. You can enable or disable this setting easily.

Some Other Reasons

reasons for 4g - LTE instead of 5g

Here are some of the other reasons your phone might say LTE instead of 5G:

  • If you are in an area with no 5G coverage.
  • You have exhausted your 5G data limit.
  • The 4G LTE bands have faster speeds than 5G bands in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is LTE better than 5G?

No. To be honest, 5G is considered to be better than LTE in terms of speed, latency, and the ability to connect more devices simultaneously.

How does LTE compare to 5G in terms of speed and latency?

5G is designed to be much faster than LTE, with theoretical speeds of up to 10Gbps, compared to LTE's theoretical maximum of 1Gbps. Additionally, 5G is expected to have much lower latency, meaning there will be less delay between sending and receiving data.

Can 5G networks handle more simultaneous connections than LTE networks?

Yes, 5G networks are designed to handle more simultaneous connections than LTE networks, which should help support the growing number of connected devices in the world.

Closing Phrase

So that was all about why your phone says LTE instead of 5G. As mentioned above, there can be a number of reasons for it and we hope this guide helps you understand them clearly.

Also Read:
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Sumith Roul
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