To access the 5G network, your device first needs to be either operating under a cellular data contract or using a fixed wireless cable system in your home. This rules out most tablets, laptops, WiFi routers, and other devices that are separate from your cellular plan. For devices that use cellular data, to connect to 5G they must have a 5G modem built into the device (some 5G trials and testing used separate modems that connected to your phone for 5G access). Integrated 5G modems didn’t come out until 2020, and are only in select phones (iPhone 12 series, Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, etc.). If you have an older phone model, your phone is not capable of connecting to the 5G network–and no, 5GE is not the 5G network, but instead a 4G LTE advanced signal that was called 5GE (5G Evolution) for marketing purposes. If your phone or fixed wireless system does connect to the 5G network, then it can access frequencies up to 100 GHz. However, the higher the frequency, the less distance the signal can travel, so carriers are mostly utilizing frequencies under 6 GHz (classified as low-band and mid-band) and rarely use high-band frequencies, also called millimeter waves.
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