Verizon Just Launched Mobile 5G: Everything You Need to Know

Verizon Moto Z3 starts getting Android 9.0 Pie 5G Moto Mod support in tow

Verizon Moto Z3 starts getting Android 9.0 Pie 5G Moto Mod support in tow

Despite the fact that Verizon's 5G rollout leaves a lot to be desired, it is still touting the world's first commercially available 5G smartphone: the Motorola Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod accessory.

The move makes Verizon the first wireless carrier in the United States to flip the switch on speedy, smartphone-ready 5G service in select urban areas, the company said in a statement, though other us carriers including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have pledged to do the same in the coming months.

Although this makes Verizon and Motorola the first to 5G in the world, there's still the question of what that really means for all of us, the people using the the first 5G phone on the first 5G network - which is only available in parts of two USA cities. The mobile 5G service is available in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, but there aren't any phones just yet.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg talked up the carrier's 5G plans at CES this year.

Average download speeds will be somewhat lower than that peak, mind.

Verizon tried to take an early lead in the 5G era with its non-standard 5G home internet service past year, but today is the big day for Verizon's real 5G network.

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In Chicago, 5G coverage is concentrated in areas of the West Loop and the South Loop, around landmarks like Union Station, Willis Tower, The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park and The Chicago Theatre.

So, while the 5G network is clearly the faster of the two, it's not by an order of magnitude. On the 5G network, the download took just shy of 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

Verizon is using its 28GHz and 39GHz millimeter wave spectrum for the service. So a Verizon customer already paying $85 a month for the carrier's Beyond Unlimited plan would see their monthly bill rise to $95 if they add 5G service. The first three months of 5G are free. That will change in mid-May when the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G comes to Verizon.

This is one more step on Verizon's path to roll out 5G mobile and home internet nationwide.

The company plans to expand the offering, which promises broadband speeds without a hard-wired connection, to more than 30 cities in 2019.

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