Verizon Wireless has beaten South Korea in the race to launch a 5G smartphone that can be used on the company’s commercial 5G network.
Launching a week ahead of schedule, this is the latest of the company’s 5G milestones, having launched a commercial 5G service, Verizon 5G Home, in October 2018. The company’s 5G network has initially been launched in Chicago and Minneapolis, providing customers with the opportunity to connect to a 5G network for the first time ever.
Verizon now offers customer plans on their 5G mobile network with the Motorola Moto Z3 or 5G Moto Mod smartphones. Customers in the current two cities have access to unlimited 5G data and will revert back to 4G or sub-4G speeds when outside the covered zone. Verizon aims to offer 5G in thirty cities by the end of 2019.
“Verizon customers will be the first in the world to have the power of 5G in their hands,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon’s chairman and CEO. “This is the latest in our string of 5G firsts.”
Although technically gigabit capable, Verizon has stated that customers using the 5G network “should expect typical download speeds of 450 Mbps, with peak speeds of nearly 1 Gbps, and latency less than 30 milliseconds.”
In December 2018, South Korean operators SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus launched a commercial 5G network, claiming it to be a world’s first; however, the carriers did not have any service plans or smartphones available for retail. It has been announced that as of April 5, 2019, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will be available for sale in South Korea along with 5G pricing plans.