Slow cell phone speeds, dropped calls could be related to 5G rollout

If you've noticed something going on with your cell phone, you're not alone. FOX 5 has noticed slow speeds and dropped calls. So, what's going on?

FOX 5 spoke to multiple emergency management agencies across the region and none of them say there are any widespread issues they've noticed or heard about from carriers.

However, some viewers say something is off.

"The speed check says the speed is fine," says Montgomery County resident Bob Dorsey. "Well maybe the speed is fine, but the strength of the signal is not very good, so I’ve got a poor signal that’s coming in fast. Well, that’s no good."

FOX 5 reached out to Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. Verizon and T-Mobile said specifically that they are upgrading their networks to 5G and doing so can lead to service interruptions for customers.

AT&T didn't mention 5G upgrades but said topography and whether the phone is inside or outside are factors that can lead to issues. 

George Washington University professor Tian Lan studies communication networks. He says to think about 5G upgrades as a highway. Sometimes to widen them to accommodate more cars, you have to do construction and close some lanes.

"It’s like all the cars are traveling through a pipe, but you get congestion and delays. It’s just like that," says Lan.