Verizon has launched its mobile 5G network ahead of schedule in Chicago and Minneapolis, beating South Korea's government, who expected their three cellular carriers to be the first to offer commercial 5G, and AT&T, who launched a mobile 5G network with a hotspot in December 2018.
The launch was initially scheduled for April 11. Verizon, however, moved the launch forward by a week, giving it 'bragging rights' as the first 5G carrier in the world. The launch only covers parts of the two cities, however, it will enable customers to use unlimited 5G in those areas, resorting to 4G or sub-4G speed when users leave the specific 5G spots.
Alongside the announcement of the new 5G service, Verizon has revealed its 5G Mod, an accessory that adds 5G capabilities to its new Moto Z3 smartphone, is now available. The Mod is priced at $200, while the Z3 costs $480, bringing the total cost of 5G accessibility with Verizon to $680.
"Verizon customers will be the first in the world to have the power of 5G in their hands," commented Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg. "This is the latest in our string of 5G firsts. Verizon launched the first commercial broadband 5G service last October, Verizon 5G Home, and now we're lighting up our 5G Ultra Wideband network in Chicago and Minneapolis, providing the world's first commercial 5G mobile service with a 5G-enabled smartphone."
The carrier has promised to offer 5G in 30 US cities this year.