Apple’s iPhone 12 series offers an improved hotspot mode that supports 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity, greatly expanding the usefulness of mobile phones as the world builds 5G cellular networks.
As noted in numerous Twitter reports, including Zollotech’s Aaron Zollo, the iPhone 12 includes the new Personal Hotspot capability, which serves as an upgrade over previous iPhone models. Prior to the iPhone 12, Apple’s smartphone was able to connect to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, but limited the hotspot obligations to 2.4 GHz band.
The feature is not described in Apple’s marketing materials, nor is the feature explained in iOS. However, Zollo has confirmed that a new “Maximize Compatibility”
“Internet performance may be reduced for devices connected to your hotspot when turned on,” according to the feature description.
While the disclaimer is unclear, Zollo says the setting moves the Personal Hotspot to the 2.4 GHz band to allow compatibility with a wider range of devices. Disabling the option probably locks iPhone 12 phones in 5GHz Wi-Fi mode for faster data transfer.
The supplement should be useful for users in areas where 5G cellular connectivity is prevalent. Currently, most 5G locations are limited to bands below 6GHz at speeds comparable to existing 4G LTE networks. However, some city bars are getting quick mmWave flavor strips and will be able to take advantage of the faster iPhone 12 hotspot.
Apple iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max support mmWave, but only in the US. To provide access to the protocol, local iPhones integrate a special window on the mmWave antenna, which is located in a cutout below the side button.