We’ve heard so many carriers talk the talk about their plans to launch a 5G network but Verizon has officially become the first to actually walk the walk. On Wednesday, Verizon turned on its 5G Ultra Wideband network in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis making them the first in the world to do so. The 5G launch came a week earlier than expected, which meant Verizon was able to snatch the title away from South Korea who had plans to launch their 5G service on Friday.
There are a few things to keep in mind however if you’re looking to access Verizon’s 5G network. Not only do you have to be located in select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis, you must also own a Motorola moto Z3 with a 5G moto mod accessory. Users that meet all of this criteria will then have access to speeds of up to 1 Giga Bites Per second as well as faster downloads and reduced latency.
For those of us that feel like we’re missing out, Verizon announced plans to expand its 5G service to 30 other cities across the U.S. in 2019. They also said they’ll be adding more smartphones with 5G capabilities very soon including the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. Until then, Verizon engineers and technology partners will continue to work on improving the 5G Ultra Wideband speed, latency, and overall network performance.
Now the next question we’re probably all wondering is who will be next to launch a 5G network? Sprint looks about ready to launch their 5G service in May while T-Mobile still seems pretty up-in-the-air about when they’ll go live. Even so, the coverage will probably only be available for a select few smartphones. And for us iPhone users, Apple has already come out and said they won’t be launching a 5G ready iPhone until next year at the earliest.
So really we’ve got a long way to go before 5G becomes a regular part of our lives. But if one things for sure, it’s that Verizon’s 5G launch has probably made a lot of carriers anxious to hop on the 5G train themselves.