Carriers have a long history of customizing the network connection icon on devices, ranging from AT&T’s “5Ge”, which isn’t actually 5G at all, to Verizon’s “5G UW”, for their Ultra Wideband network. T-Mobile has shared it is now joining in with its own 5G UC icon for its Ultra Capacity 5G network.
Starting with the iPhone 12 series and the new iPhone 13 series, when a customer is connected to T-Mobile’s mid-band or millimeter wave 5G, their devices will show a new 5G UC icon. T-Mobile says this will let customers know when they’re getting speeds “as fast as Wi-Fi”, averaging over 200 Mbps. The icon will come to the iPhone 12 series via the iOS 15 update on September 20th.
The icon, shown below, is reminiscent of Verizon’s “5G UW” icon. It simply adds “UC” along the right edge of the 5G branding.
T-Mobile has been building out its Ultra Capacity 5G network very quickly, with an estimated 165 million people covered in the United States already. They estimate that 200 million people will be covered by the end of this year, and over 250 million people by the end of 2022. Their claims of Wi-Fi fast speeds are backed up by recent third-party research from Ookla and Umlaut, who name T-Mobile as having the fastest 5G of all the carriers.
The new 5G UC icon is expected to come to other 5G devices soon via software updates.