Verizon took great pride in being first to roll out “5G” home broadband, but the company has announced that its 5G Home won’t be expanding to other cities beyond the initial four launch markets until later this year. More specifically, it’ll take until sometime in the second half of 2019.
Why the wait? Verizon’s 5G Home is built upon its own, pre-standard 5G communication technology called 5G TF. It does employ some core 5G tech like millimeter wave, but Verizon’s fixed home 5G internet really felt like a rush job to get out ahead of competitors and shout “first!” T-Mobile CEO John Legere slammed it as such, and the fact that Verizon is halting 5G Home’s rollout until it can switch everything over to the industry-backed 5G NR basically underlines that. (The company had already said it would switch over the first four 5G Home cities from 5G TF to 5G NR at some point in the future.) My colleague Jake Kastrenakes wrote a great explainer on 5G Home if you want more details.
For now, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg confirmed 5G Home as being “fully deployed in the four cities we have decided” during the company’s recent earnings call, as noted by VentureBeat. That includes select parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. The company claims that taking this approach led the industry at large to speed up 5G deployment plans.
As for mobile 5G, Vestberg wouldn’t provide much of a preview of what Verizon’s coverage map will look like this year, saying the company had “nothing we want to disclose for competitive reasons.” He simply promised “lots of mobile 5G and 5G Home” and said the carrier will release 5G-capable devices “as soon as those are ready.” Verizon has already confirmed plans to launch a Samsung-branded 5G smartphone, and Motorola’s 5G Moto Mod for the Moto Z3 is still on the way, too.