According to XDA’s Max Weinbach, the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A71s 5G is coming to Verizon with the model number SM-A716V. Based on some regulatory documents that XDA unearthed, the phone will be marketed as the Galaxy A71s 5G UW. The UW stands for “Ultrawide” which in the case of Verizon refers to the carrier’s mmWave 5G signals. While these airwaves don’t travel far, they do sport larger capacity for network traffic and deliver faster download data speeds.
The U.S. version of the Galaxy A71s 5G, including the UW model, will reportedly be powered by the Snapdragon 765 chipset. That means it comes with an integrated 5G modem chip which in this case is the Snapdragon X52. The latter supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G signals. And if the 5G UW part of the phone’s name sounds familiar, that’s because Verizon has used it with other 5G phones that connect to its mmWave signals such as the OnePlus 8 5G UW, Samsung Galaxy S20 5G UW, and the LG V60 5G ThinQ UW.
As Weinbach points out, the $ 350 5G Moto Mods technically make the Moto Z3 and Moto Z4 the first low-priced “mid-range” 5G phones on Big Red’s lineup. However, if we simply forget that the 5G Moto Mods exist (as many consumers have), the Galaxy A71s 5G UW will supposedly be the first true mid-range phone to work with Verizon’s mmWave 5G network.
It’s the limited reach of the mmWave signal that is making the build-out of Verizon’s 5G network take so long to complete. But you say, what about T-Mobile? That carrier has a nationwide 5G network. The difference is that T-Mobile used its low-band 600MHz spectrum to form the bottom layer of what it calls its 5G layer cake. Low-band signals travel farther than high-band signals, penetrate structures better, but do not provide the capacity or deliver the speeds available with mmWave signals. That is why Verizon’s download data speeds are faster than T-Mobile’s right now. But things could change. After T-Mobile completed its merger with Sprint, it took possession of the latter’s 2.5GB mid-band spectrum, the middle layer of its 5G layer cake. And that tier is delivering download data speeds as fast as 1Gbps in New York City. The top later of the cake is mmWave spectrum.
Verizon is going to be adding some mid-band spectrum itself. Earlier this month we told you that it had asked the FCC for permission to test 100MHz of mid-band spectrum in the 3.7GHz-3.8GHz band in Sunnyvale, California; Basking Ridge, New Jersey; Westlake, Texas; and Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan. On December 8th, the FCC will start the process of auctioning off 280MHz of mid-band spectrum in the C-band covering 3.7GHz-3.98GHz.