iPhone SE and iPad Air Don't Offer Fastest mmWave 5G

The new $429 iPhone SE and $599 iPad Air with 5G connectivity do not appear to support the fastest mmWave 5G bands, based on the technical specifications listed on Apple's website.

iphone se 5g
Both the ‌iPhone SE‌ and the ‌iPad Air‌ mention support for the following 5G bands in the U.S.: 5G NR (Bands n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n29, n30, n38, n40, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79), but there is no listing for mmWave bands as there is for the iPhone 13 models that do support faster 5G technology.

With no support for mmWave 5G speeds, the ‌iPhone SE‌ models will be limited to sub-6GHz 5G. sub-6GHz 5G is still faster than LTE in most cases, but it is not the super fast impressive 5G speed that you see in marketing materials.

Sub-6GHz 5G is much more widespread and will be the 5G available in rural and suburban areas, as mmWave 5G is shorter range and limited to more urban spots. That said, AT&T and Version have been expanding their faster 5G networks drastically in the U.S. with the release of C-band spectrum, and it is not clear if the new ‌iPhone SE‌ models will be compatible with the higher speed 5G available from the carriers.

The ‌iPhone SE‌ 5G and the ‌iPad Air‌ will be available for preorder this Friday and will launch on March 18.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

SactoGuy18 Avatar
31 months ago
The thing is that mmWave 5G is not exactly that common, even on Verizon. Now, mid-band 5G is something else, though.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
31 months ago

Unfortunately, this means the SE 3, Mini 6 and Air 5 will be the first Apple devices to become obsolete in terms of 5G connectivity. Even the iPhone 12 models have mmWave 5G.
According to Apple, mid-band 5G offers up to 3.5 Gbits/sec. I doubt anyone will toss their phone because of modem speeds.

mmWave is a nice marketing checkbox, but practically speaking it's not really useful except for notebooks or many years down the road.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
31 months ago
The new iPhone SE also says “LTE advanced” only, as opposed to “Gigabit-class LTE” from the old SE.

I have to imagine that’s a mistake because there’s no way the new SE’s modem does not support gigabit LTE where the old one did.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
31 months ago

The new iPhone SE also says “LTE advanced” only, as opposed to “Gigabit-class LTE” from the old SE.

I have to imagine that’s a mistake because there’s no way the new SE’s modem does not support gigabit LTE where the old one did.
Probably not because it is not supported, but there are no more Gigabit Class LTE in the market. All network are switching or are going to switch to 5G using previous 4G band.

And Gigabit Class LTE was pretty much an Intel marketing thing. ( If I remember correctly ). Qualcomm likes to use LTE Advance Pro.

And in 2022, we are still arguing about mmWave. People just dont learn.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
discuit Avatar
31 months ago
Interestingly the new SE drops support for CDMA. Sprint and Verizon are rapidly winding down their CDMA networks. RIP to the one-time superior 3G technology.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itslikethat Avatar
31 months ago

What modem is in the new SE?

X60 qualcomm?
X55 qualcomm?
custom apple?
I think it's a newer one, because it doesn't have CDMA and is ''LTE Advanced'' not Gigabit LTE (like the 12 / 13)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)