The promise of 5G may be fulfilled in four US cities on October 1, as Verizon launches what it calls the world’s first commercial 5G broadband internet service, the company announced Tuesday.
The service, Verizon 5G Home, will be built on Verizon’s Ultra Wideband 5G Network. The company said it will be the first company to bring 5G broadband service to customers, and expects to be the first to offer 5G mobile service as well, according to a press email.
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Here are five things to know about Verizon’s 5G service:
1. When it’s happening: Verizon 5G Home will launch on October 1. Starting September 13, US consumers can visit FirstOn5G.com to learn more about the service and sign up to be a “First on 5G” member.
2. Where it’s happening: Verizon 5G Home will initially be available in parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. The coverage area will “rapidly expand” once Verizon can install new standards-compliant equipment from vendors, according to the press email.
3. The costs: By becoming an early member, consumers in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento will get Verizon 5G Home free for three months as an introductory offer. After that, current Verizon Wireless customers with a qualifying smartphone plan will pay $50 per month for the service, while non-Verizon Wireless customers will pay $70 per month.
The monthly rate include all taxes and fees, and does not require an annual contract. There are also no hardware costs.
Verizon 5G Home customers will get YouTube TV free for the first three months ($40/month after that), and a free Apple TV 4K or Google Chromecast Ultra device at installation. First on 5G members will also receive free professional installation and setup of all Wi-Fi devices, a free router, and router upgrades in 2019. They will also be first in line to purchase new 5G mobile devices as soon as they come to market.
4. The speeds: Verizon 5G Home customers can expect typical network speeds of about 300 Mbps, and peak speeds of nearly 1 Gbps, depending on location, according to the press email. There are no data caps.
5. The tech: Verizon 5G Home is built on Verizon’s Ultra Wideband 5G Network, which includes end-to-end deep fiber resources, a large deployment of small cells, and strong spectrum holdings–particularly in the millimeter wave bands, which is the only spectrum with the bandwidth for full 5G in terms of capacity, throughput, and latency, according to the press email.
“To deliver the full potential of 5G, a wireless network provider must have three fundamental assets: deep fiber resources, a large deployment of small cells and critical spectrum holdings. That’s Ultra Wideband,” Verizon CTO Kyle Malady said in the press email. “We will deliver a revolutionary 5G experience that will change how people live, work and play.”
Verizon will use its proprietary 5G standard in this initial commercial launch, rather than waiting on the most recent technical standards, the press email noted.
“To be first, we encouraged others in the ecosystem to move more quickly at every step,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said in a press email. “We appreciate the partnership of network equipment makers, device manufacturers, software developers and chip makers in reaching this critical milestone. The entire wireless industry gets to celebrate.”
Earlier this week, Verizon announced that it will expand its 5G Labs to four new locations across the US–Los Angeles, Washington DC, Palo Alto, and Waltham, MA–to focus on developing and testing 5G technologies and use cases.