I tested 5G in Romania, and the first results are unexpected for me

I am what in English is called an “early adopter”. I want to use the new technologies that come on the market as soon as possible, and my job often allows me to do this. But with 5G I had to wait. I’ve been using the YOXO service since it came out because I like the idea of setting up your subscription directly from the app and the fact that I can opt out whenever I want, without physical visits to the operator’s shop.

At YOXO, the 5G service was recently launched and is of course based on Orange infrastructure. The package costs 39 lei and offers: unlimited national minutes and SMS, 150 GB national internet and 7.37 GB internet in the EEA area.

Currently, Orange Romania offers the next generation mobile network in 13 large cities and, in some cases, in the immediate vicinity of them.

I was skeptical about 5G at this point. The network is still in the development phase in Romania, and the things I heard from other people were not encouraging. I was going to use the subscription for a month to test it out, and then switch back to the 100 GB internet, which is 10 lei cheaper.

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But after testing 5G in three locations (two large cities and one village) I changed my mind and am very optimistic about the future of the technology. Where it exists, I can tell you from my experience that 5G service is significantly faster than 4G or 4G+.

Speed achieved on Orange’s 5G network in Sibiu.

We spent these holidays in or near three cities: Sibiu, Râmnicu Vâlcea and Bucharest.

I warn you at the outset that this is not a scientific test, but a practical one, done by an ordinary user with an ordinary phone. Here’s what I found in my measurements, made with an iPhone SE (2023) smartphone, using the Fast.com app developed by Netflix:

Sibiu, railway station area:
Maximum 5G speed: 270 Mbps
4G maximum speed: 120 Mbps

Mohu, village near Sibiu:
Maximum 5G speed: 36 Mbps
4G maximum speed: 11 Mbps

5G vs 4G in Mohu, Sibiu. We have selected the best results obtained after several tests done during our stay there.

Bucharest, eMAG warehouse area near A1:
Maximum 5G speed: 370 Mbps
4G maximum speed: 130 Mbps

Bucharest, Theodor Pallady Boulevard, exit to A2:
Maximum 5G speed: 140 Mbps
4G maximum speed: 120 Mbps

In Râmnicu Vâlcea there is no 5G coverage yet on the Orange network.

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I remind you that these are preliminary results, after tests in only a few areas. In city centres the results are probably better (in the case of Sibiu from the train station you can reach the centre quickly, so I don’t expect significantly higher speeds).

The development of fifth generation networks in Romania is an operation that will take some time. However, my own experience is that where the technology exists, speeds are clearly higher than those offered by previous generation networks. The technology will be especially beneficial in the villages, where it will significantly increase internet speeds (see the case of Mohu where we already have three times the speed of 4G).

You need to keep in mind when switching to 5G that phones use different modems and 5G technologies and that not all will be equally fast, even if they are in the same area and on the same mobile network.

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