iPhone 12 owners can't get 5G on this carrier

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One of the big selling points of the iPhone 12 range is the fact they’re the first iPhones to support 5G. Considering carriers and tech companies are always hyping the benefits of 5G, that makes this launch a pretty big deal.

But 5G is still a relatively new technology, and there are problems occurring for some people. Case in point, iPhone 12 owners on Google Fi currently can’t access 5G services.

9to5Google points out that Google has already hyped up Fi’s 5G coverage, promising that it would offer nationwide 5G connectivity that’s included in all its plans. Though it’s worth pointing out that as an MVNO Google Fi is actually hyping T-Mobile’s 5G network, since they’re the ones that own and maintain the network.

Android phone owners have been able to connect to Fi’s 5G network since early 2019, and 5G phones have managed to seamlessly connect to the carrier’s 5G services. iPhone 12 owners were expecting a similar experience, but this proved not to be the case. 

Google’s website lists a number of phones designed for its Fi network, but note that “phones compatible with T-Mobile’s 5G network will work with Fi’s network”. The iPhone 12 does work with T-Mobile’s 5G network, but not Google Fi’s. Users are also reporting that they couldn’t even manually connect to 5G in the phone’s Voice & Data settings, forcing many of them to start asking questions. What gives?

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be a simple glitch in the system. Google has confirmed to 9to5Google that Fi’s 5G is not supported on the iPhone 12 — but work is being done to try and fix the issue.

Google doesn’t actually explain what the issue is, or when it’s likely to be resolved, only that it will be updating customers via its help center. So iPhone 12 owners on Fi are going to have to be patient, and anyone thinking about getting an iPhone 12 to use on Fi may want to reconsider. For the time being at least.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.