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Is my 5G actually 5G?

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Dec 9, 2020
6
1
Am on Vodafone Ireland. Phone purchased direct from carrier.

VF Ireland released this in early November, I think. It wasn't up until the December Pixel update that 5G actually started working and, until this point, Google had 5G support for the network down as pending on their support page (since updated). So far so useless from Vodafone.

1607513465011.png


The thing is, I'm not actually sure they've (being Vodafone) correctly enabled 5G for the device with Google. I understand that speeds can be spotty but a speed test when on (what the Pixel reports as) 5G are identical to those performed on LTE.

So, I have the Pixel displaying 5G in the status bar but NR frequency in *#*#3646#*#* is showing UNKNOWN (not sure if expected), Data Network Type is LTE (again, potentially expected?) and speeds are identical to 4G (I know there's a chance this is just the cell I'm connecting to, but little opportunity to test otherwise at the moment).

1607513957715.png


I'm not rooted; is there an app or website that will give me a cast-iron, low-level look at what type of connection is actually being made? Or any other thoughts?

Many thanks!
 

bleets

Senior Member
Nov 22, 2011
238
61
When you're on 5G go to settings -> about phone -> sim status, mobile data network type should be NR NSA

Which is sort of a hybrid between 4G and 5G where you (supposedly) get 5G speeds but not all the other 5G features.

5G SA isn't really rolled out many places yet and I don't think the pixels support it if it was
 
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Dec 9, 2020
6
1
Yeah, it is NR NSA. Certain speed/performance test apps are identifying the connection as LTE, though, which is why I was looking for something that I knew could be relied upon to give an unequivocal read (if such a thing can be done).

I can't help but be suspicious that VF have messed this up somehow and whilst the phone is identifying a 5G signal, it's not actually what's being used.
 

MrBelter

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2011
1,253
265
This may or may not help.

If you go to settings, network & internet, advanced, adaptive connectivity and turn it off then the phone wont use 4G if it thinks that is all you need when a 5G signal is present.
 
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Dec 9, 2020
6
1
I note that if I manaully try to connect to a network, I am shown as connected to a 4G one, where the network "3" have a distinct 5G one. Anyone on Vodafone IE (whether a Pixel 5 or otherwise) able to confirm if they see a distinct 5G network for Vodafone, if they try the same?

1607516708116.png
 

cstark27

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2010
1,237
7,250
Am on Vodafone Ireland. Phone purchased direct from carrier.

VF Ireland released this in early November, I think. It wasn't up until the December Pixel update that 5G actually started working and, until this point, Google had 5G support for the network down as pending on their support page (since updated). So far so useless from Vodafone.

View attachment 5152119

The thing is, I'm not actually sure they've (being Vodafone) correctly enabled 5G for the device with Google. I understand that speeds can be spotty but a speed test when on (what the Pixel reports as) 5G are identical to those performed on LTE.

So, I have the Pixel displaying 5G in the status bar but NR frequency in *#*#3646#*#* is showing UNKNOWN (not sure if expected), Data Network Type is LTE (again, potentially expected?) and speeds are identical to 4G (I know there's a chance this is just the cell I'm connecting to, but little opportunity to test otherwise at the moment).

View attachment 5152127

I'm not rooted; is there an app or website that will give me a cast-iron, low-level look at what type of connection is actually being made? Or any other thoughts?

Many thanks!

NR Status: NOT_RESTRICTED = not connected to a 5G cell, but not restricted from doing so either. It will say "CONNECTED" when actually connected.

NR Frequency may not work properly. On an old patch it erroneously reported "HIGH" for T-Mobile USA which means it thought I was on 5G in the 3-6GHz range which is not possible for my carrier. On a new patch it now just says Unknown always.

"5G" shows in the status bar because many carriers want their phones to show the icon when you are connected to a tower that "supports" 5G NSA connections - which effectively means there could be a 5G cell somewhere in the vicinity.

I use CellMapper as a quick way to look at the NR Status (AKA 5G State). If you're connected to a 5G cell it will also list a NR NSA item near the top, or say LTE-A+NR NSA.
 
Dec 9, 2020
6
1
That's very informative, thank you!
So, if I'm seeing the attached with CellMapper, I'm on a 4G cell but there is a separate 5G cell for my network available?

Should note as well that I am now seeing CONNECTED for NR Status but am still not getting anything above 4G region speeds.
 

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cstark27

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2010
1,237
7,250
That's very informative, thank you!
So, if I'm seeing the attached with CellMapper, I'm on a 4G cell but there is a separate 5G cell for my network available?

Should note as well that I am now seeing CONNECTED for NR Status but am still not getting anything above 4G region speeds.

I'm actually kind of confused by the screenshot. My Pixel 4a 5G has never shown a "NR" item, and you're missing the all the 5G info on the LTE line. However, I know the 4a 5G is not compatible with my carriers 5G Standalone yet. I wonder if you are on Standalone? I would suggest opening CellMapper then when you see the info like in this screenshot, go to Settings>Send Debug Info and use the email option. The devs might be able to figure out what's going on. Send them a screenshot of the main app window, too.

Re: speeds...it depends. I can sometimes get faster and more consistent speeds when I disable 5G. But that's because one of the main 5G bands for me is only 15*15mhz wide, and there are some modem limitations when aggregating in a 5G band with LTE (NSA mode). For me, I have to find the mid-band 5G cells (N41) that have 60mhz of bandwidth to see a bigger difference. And then there's mmWave which is the ultra fast 5G but very limited range.
 

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WaxysDargle

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2012
839
394
normal behavior for 5g. right now it's basically LTE speeds with a layer of instability on top.

mmWave is never going to happen. we just have to wait until 5g (sub-6) is stable and speeds improve.

personally, I've disabled 5g on my device. not worth it.
 

xunholyx

Recognized Contributor
Dec 3, 2012
7,666
5,225
Vancouver
Google Pixel 2 XL
Google Pixel 5
normal behavior for 5g. right now it's basically LTE speeds with a layer of instability on top.

mmWave is never going to happen. we just have to wait until 5g (sub-6) is stable and speeds improve.

personally, I've disabled 5g on my device. not worth it.
Hmmmm.....maybe where you live. Here in Canada I get about 60/70mbps download speeds on LTE. When I get a 5g connection the speeds can go up to over 200mbps
 

akmsr

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2013
151
36
DeLand, Florida
I am on Verizon prepaid and live in a rural area. I bought upgraded 5G Sim from Verizon for the Pixel 5. I have the low speed 5G coverage that Verizon calls nationwide. It's really a glorified 4g lte that is often slower than lte. Phone shows 5g at the signal bar and setting show NR . BUT speed test app and opensignal app shows that I am actually getting lte signal and speed when testing. I have found out that in my yard standing away from power lines I get 4g lte speed and signal but if the phone is held higher I connect to the tower with 5g protocol and speed test reflects it with double to triple bandwidth.result page of speed test and opensignal show 5g connection.
 

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    Am on Vodafone Ireland. Phone purchased direct from carrier.

    VF Ireland released this in early November, I think. It wasn't up until the December Pixel update that 5G actually started working and, until this point, Google had 5G support for the network down as pending on their support page (since updated). So far so useless from Vodafone.

    View attachment 5152119

    The thing is, I'm not actually sure they've (being Vodafone) correctly enabled 5G for the device with Google. I understand that speeds can be spotty but a speed test when on (what the Pixel reports as) 5G are identical to those performed on LTE.

    So, I have the Pixel displaying 5G in the status bar but NR frequency in *#*#3646#*#* is showing UNKNOWN (not sure if expected), Data Network Type is LTE (again, potentially expected?) and speeds are identical to 4G (I know there's a chance this is just the cell I'm connecting to, but little opportunity to test otherwise at the moment).

    View attachment 5152127

    I'm not rooted; is there an app or website that will give me a cast-iron, low-level look at what type of connection is actually being made? Or any other thoughts?

    Many thanks!

    NR Status: NOT_RESTRICTED = not connected to a 5G cell, but not restricted from doing so either. It will say "CONNECTED" when actually connected.

    NR Frequency may not work properly. On an old patch it erroneously reported "HIGH" for T-Mobile USA which means it thought I was on 5G in the 3-6GHz range which is not possible for my carrier. On a new patch it now just says Unknown always.

    "5G" shows in the status bar because many carriers want their phones to show the icon when you are connected to a tower that "supports" 5G NSA connections - which effectively means there could be a 5G cell somewhere in the vicinity.

    I use CellMapper as a quick way to look at the NR Status (AKA 5G State). If you're connected to a 5G cell it will also list a NR NSA item near the top, or say LTE-A+NR NSA.
    1
    When you're on 5G go to settings -> about phone -> sim status, mobile data network type should be NR NSA

    Which is sort of a hybrid between 4G and 5G where you (supposedly) get 5G speeds but not all the other 5G features.

    5G SA isn't really rolled out many places yet and I don't think the pixels support it if it was
    1
    This may or may not help.

    If you go to settings, network & internet, advanced, adaptive connectivity and turn it off then the phone wont use 4G if it thinks that is all you need when a 5G signal is present.
    1
    That's very informative, thank you!
    So, if I'm seeing the attached with CellMapper, I'm on a 4G cell but there is a separate 5G cell for my network available?

    Should note as well that I am now seeing CONNECTED for NR Status but am still not getting anything above 4G region speeds.

    I'm actually kind of confused by the screenshot. My Pixel 4a 5G has never shown a "NR" item, and you're missing the all the 5G info on the LTE line. However, I know the 4a 5G is not compatible with my carriers 5G Standalone yet. I wonder if you are on Standalone? I would suggest opening CellMapper then when you see the info like in this screenshot, go to Settings>Send Debug Info and use the email option. The devs might be able to figure out what's going on. Send them a screenshot of the main app window, too.

    Re: speeds...it depends. I can sometimes get faster and more consistent speeds when I disable 5G. But that's because one of the main 5G bands for me is only 15*15mhz wide, and there are some modem limitations when aggregating in a 5G band with LTE (NSA mode). For me, I have to find the mid-band 5G cells (N41) that have 60mhz of bandwidth to see a bigger difference. And then there's mmWave which is the ultra fast 5G but very limited range.
    1
    Thanks once again. Going to throw it up on the CellMapper Reddit first, I think. See if they can interpret it for me.