5G today is mostly ubiquitous among expensive mobile phones in the US. But among cheap phones, the story is much different.
Part of the reason, according to BayStreet's Cliff Maldonado, is Verizon's millimeter wave (mmWave) strategy. The operator wants all of its 5G phones to include support for mmWave spectrum bands, and so far it hasn't been able to obtain cheap 5G phones that support those spectrum bands. As a result, almost none of the phones that Verizon sold at the end of last year in the $250-or-less category support 5G. Instead, most of the cheap phones that Verizon sold featured only 4G connections.