Verizon has turned on its 5G network in the US. But it's extremely limited.
If you live in specific areas in two US cities -- Chicago or Minneapolis -- Verizon said you can access its commercial 5G network, called 5G Ultra Wideband Network, a full week ahead of schedule. The network, which was due to arrive on 11 April, went live on 3 April.
The next-generation wireless service adds $10 more to existing unlimited plans. Those who opt to test it can expect typical download speeds of 450Mbps, with peak speeds of nearly 1Gbps, and latency less than 30 seconds. But you can't use the service with just any phone. You need a 5G-enabled smartphone. More specifically, you need the Motorola Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod.
That smartphone, coupled with the 5G Moto Mod, which went on sale via pre-order in March, will be the first device to support Verizon's new 5G network. The US carrier has said its 5G service will also support the new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which is expected to launch in the “first half of 2019". But, for now, support is limited to the Moto Z3 that it launched last summer.
If you're in Chicago, 5G coverage is available in West Loop, South Loop, Union Station, Willis Tower, The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, The Chicago Theatre, the Verizon store on The Magnificent Mile, and throughout The Gold Coast, Old Town, and River North.
In Minneapolis, 5G coverage is also very limited at launch. It can only be found Downtown, including Downtown West and Downtown East, the US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis Convention Center, the Minneapolis Central Library, the Mill City Museum, Target Center and First Avenue venues, The Commons, areas of Elliot Park, and in the Verizon store in The Mall of America.
If you're dying to try the new speeds, no worries. Verizon said it expects to have its 5G service turned on in more than 30 markets this year.
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