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Mid-Band Network Rollout (C-Band) Frequently Asked Questions

5G Mid-Band and C-Band Overview

Verizon and AT&T began rolling out their 5G mid-band networks within the U.S. market in January of 2022.

C-Band spectrum (3.7 – 3.98 GHz)

The terms “C-Band” and “mid-band” are often used interchangeably, but C-Band is a subset of the mid-band range. It is more accurate to describe the C-Band frequency range as a component of the 3.7 – 3.98 GHz mid-band spectrum. Mid-band resides within frequency range 1 (FR1) from 2-7 GHz, located between low-band FR1 and “millimeter wave” (FR2) RF spectrum that starts at 24 GHz.   

 

Mid-band 5G offers a balance of speed, capacity, coverage, and penetration (or propagation) that is ideal for bandwidth intensive and latency-sensitive use cases, such as video, in more dense metropolitan areas where connectivity demand is high. Mid-band 5G is expected to reach download speeds up to 1.5 Gbps, and with a 5G standalone core, upload speeds can reach as high as 350 Mbps with latency ranging from 8-12 milliseconds. 

Most of the rest of the world auctioned off C-Band earlier, and it is the most popular 5G band in the world (in terms of the number of countries). The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) chopped C-Band up into three chunks: band n77, band n78, and band n79. Most European and Asian countries currently use n78, which stretches from 3.3 to 3.8 GHz. The US will use n77, a larger band from 3.3 to 4.2 GHz. Japan also already uses n77, so equipment and phones are available. (PC Magazine)

Cradlepoint has multiple products to support the entire 5G spectrum for deployment for the most common use cases whether for fixed locations, in-vehicle, or IoT scenarios. With the increased coverage and performance, more data-intensive use cases can utilize Wireless WAN with mid-band 5G.

Mobile Network Operator and Cradlepoint support of mid-band

Cradlepoint works closely with mobile network operator product teams to ensure Cradlepoint routers and adapters are tested and certified for optimum performance on each operator’s mid-band network. 

For existing Cradlepoint routers and adapters — upon device certification, Cradlepoint will release a modem firmware update via NetCloud Manager for existing Cradlepoint routers to operate on the certifying operator’s mid-band network. 

For new Cradlepoint routers and adapters — upon device certification, all new Cradlepoint 5G routers and adapters will ship with support for the certifying operator’s mid-band network out of the box. 

Yes.

Cradlepoint already supports international 5G mid-band services and has worked with operators around the globe to offer connectivity solutions with 5G mid-band service since 2020.

In the U.S., all Cradlepoint 5G endpoints currently support T-Mobile’s 5G mid-band spectrum network (n41/2.5 GHz) out of the box.

Upon operator certification, the modem firmware update will be made available through NetCloud Manager. Each platform must be certified by the operator prior to availability of the update. Cradlepoint will announce when customers can access the modem firmware update.

AT&T has announced that they are planning to cover 70-75 million people across the U.S. by the end of 2022 with their mid-band 5G network and refers to their mid-band service as “AT&T 5G+”. (Source: AT&T)

Verizon has announced that they cover 100 million customers with their mid-band 5G network as of January 2022 and refers to their mid-band service as “Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.” (Source: Verizon)

T-Mobile has announced that their mid-band spectrum network covers over 210 million people as of January 2022 and refers to their mid-band service as “T-Mobile Ultra Capacity 5G”. (Source: T-Mobile)

Possibly, depending on the carrier.

Why Cradlepoint for 5G?

Cradlepoint remains the leader in enterprise-grade 5G Wireless WAN solutions supporting the full spectrum of 5G technology — including 5G low-band, mmWave high-band, and now 5G mid-band — enabling businesses to take advantage of the 5G coverage and capacity that is best suited for their specific use cases.

  • Cradlepoint Wireless WAN solutions provide virtually anywhere connectivity along with end-to-end security, compatibility with current architectures, such as SD-WAN, and the cloud-based tools to manage the entire Wireless WAN lifecycle.
  • Cradlepoint has designed 5G considerations into our service with Cellular Intelligence, a collection of data embedded in modems, radios, SIM cards, and cell towers for the purpose of providing better visibility, analytics, and actionable insights about the cellular environment.

Cradlepoint has strategic partnerships with mobile network operators around the globe delivering enterprise-grade 5G Wireless WAN solutions designed for branch, mobile, and IoT use cases for businesses of all sizes.

  • Built for the most demanding applications, Cradlepoint 5G Wireless WAN solutions have been specifically designed to support mobile network operator networks and have gone through extensive testing and certification to ensure optimum performance.

Cradlepoint, the leader in Wireless WAN, serves over 28,000+ active customers in 50+ countries with 2 million+ endpoints under subscription. We have extensive experience supporting 5G mid-band services internationally and have worked with global network operators to offer connectivity with this service since 2020.

Learn how 5G can help your organization and why Cradlepoint is the leader in 5G for business.

5G solutions for business