Why Does My Phone Say LTE Instead of 5G? Examining Factors and Solutions


If your phone displays LTE instead of 5G, it can leave you confused about why this is happening and how to take advantage of faster 5G networks. In this article, we’ll look into why this occurs and how to determine if your device is 5G-compatible and find solutions to maximize its capabilities.

Phone Compatibility: Is Your Device 5G Capable?

A primary reason that your phone may only display an LTE connection rather than 5G is due to needing to be more capable of connecting to a 5G network; generally, devices purchased prior to 2019 lack the cellular radio necessary to communicate with 5G networks. To assess if your phone is 5G-compatible, you can:

  • Check Your Phone’s Specifications Online: For detailed specifications for various phone models, consider visiting websites such as GSMArena or 91Mobiles to consult. Under “NETWORK,” look out if your model supports 5G connectivity.
  • Check Your Device Settings: On an Android phone, navigate to Settings => Network & Internet => Mobile Network => Preferred Network Type and look for “5G Network Type.” For iPhone users, locate this feature under either Cellular Data Options or Mobile Data Options on either iPhone device; if there’s 5G listed as an option, this indicates 5G capability in your device.
  • Connect with Your Carrier: Confirm that you have a 5G plan and a compatible phone. Some carriers may require you to upgrade or purchase new devices in order to access 5G services.

Network Availability: Are You in a 5G Coverage Area?

Even if your phone is compatible with 5G networks, if none are nearby, it will still display LTE connections as a backup option. To make sure you are in an area with 5G coverage:

  • Verify that your carrier supports 5G and you’re subscribed to a 5G plan: Confirm that you’re on a cellular plan that supports 5G services.
  • Check your carrier’s coverage map: Consult the coverage map to confirm you’re in an area with 5G coverage.
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SIM Card Issues: Is Your SIM Card Clean and Functional?

If your phone is 5G compatible but only displays LTE reception in an LTE coverage area, the issue could lie with its SIM card. A damaged or dirty SIM could prevent you from connecting with 5G networks; to resolve this, try:

  • Clean your SIM card: Gently clean the SIM card with a soft, dry cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Replace your SIM card: If your SIM card appears damaged or cleaning doesn’t resolve the issue, consider getting a new one.

Optimize Network Signal: Is Your Device Prioritizing the Best Connection?

Smartphones are designed to prioritize the best available network signal. If your device still shows LTE instead of 5G coverage issues, this may indicate poor 5G reception in your location, and in such instances, your phone may automatically switch back to LTE for optimal call quality and data speeds.

Update Your Device’s Software

Outdated software may cause connectivity issues; therefore, ensure your phone’s software is always updated in order to reduce any potential difficulties when connecting to 5G networks.

Signing Out…

Finding out why your phone shows LTE instead of 5G can provide key insight into ways you can enhance its performance and connection quality. By making sure your device is compatible with 5G technology, checking coverage availability in your area, maintaining a clean SIM card with functional capabilities, updating software as necessary, and being aware of network prioritization settings, you can maximize your mobile experience when 5G technology becomes available and maximize it as part of it.