Despite Uncertain Mobile Support, Verizon 5G Rollout is a Milestone
Verizon 5G is launching in a few select cities across America, and although there is no clear development for mobile support it is still a big step forward.
It's been less than a year since Verizon promised a 5G service in five cities, which means they are ahead of schedule (and short a city) but Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento are all eligible for the new internet service. The end-to-end 5G solution promises 300Mbps at a peak 1Gbps speed, utilizing Inseego broadband equipment for about $70. Inseego has quietly been rolling out hotspots and modems under the MiFi and Novatel brands, making its mark for Verizon's original 4G/LTE rollout.
“I can’t put enough supers: super-super-super exciting. This is the first true mobile broadband wireless technology," said Inseego CEO Dan Mondor in an interview with VentureBeat. "What it can do, not only on the consumer side of things, but also industrial IoT applications, with the bandwidth and ultra-low latency … Think about autonomous vehicles and other such applications. Throughput alone isn’t the determining factor.”
Surprisingly, the new service ticks a lot of boxes in terms of pricing vs. speed - which historically hasn't been the case. The general state of internet pseudo-monopolization has caused major telecom companies to be (mostly) non-competitive. That means they can basically charge what they want without fear of consumers leaving because, well, they can't. According to an absolutely astonishing piece of journalism by The Verge, the "US has the ninth most expensive broadband service among the 34 OECD countries, which are among the largest economies in the world." It has become so congested, aggressive, and protected that even Google has been blocked from bringing a high-quality, affordable internet to the general consumer.
So logically, you would expect Verizon to charge an arm and leg for dedicated 5G speeds. Not the case. In fact, Verizon's $70 makes it one of the most affordable and they are offering three months of free YouTube TV, as well as the customer’s choice of a free Apple TV 4K or Google Chromecast Ultra.
Ultimately though, Verizon (and everyone else) isn't ready to roll out the 5G mobile nirvana that we all so desperately seek. More information should reveal itself as consumers get their hands on the new standard, but it's otherwise a success for the future of 5G.