Verizon today announced that it has officially deployed its 5G mobile service in certain parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, which are the first two of 30 cities where it plans to bring its 5G wireless network this year. The surprise launch is one week earlier than the date the company initially announced, with the company noting that customers can expect average download speeds of 450 Mbps, and peak speeds could reach “nearly 1 Gbps.”
To use Verizon’s 5G network, customers will need a 5G-ready phone. At the moment, that comes down to just the Moto Z3 that it launched last summer paired with the 5G Moto Mod, which is available today. It will also cost customers an additional $10 a month to use the 5G network. Verizon will support 5G on the new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which is expected to launch in the “first half of 2019.” (Put differently, it should arrive sometime in the next two months.)
Today’s launch is different than Verizon’s previous 5G home network deployment in four cities last year. Whereas those networks run on the 5G TF standard, Verizon’s wireless 5G uses the “real” 5G NR standard for cellular networks.
Even if you’re in Chicago or Minneapolis, the launch is still extremely limited. Coverage span the general downtown areas and certain landmarks, like Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium and Chicago neighborhoods Gold Coast, River North, and Old Town.