Verizon's 5G mobile service launches next month in Chicago and Minneapolis

Yolanda Curtis
March 14, 2019

Verizon's "5G Ultra Wideband Network" is the real deal - it works with phones and other mobile devices just like 4G LTE - and isn't to be confused with the company's "home" 5G network, which launched previous year in select cities. T-Mobile US Inc. has also promised mobile 5G service to start in 30 cities this year, with more comprehensive coverage coming next year.

Verizon will launch its 5G mobile service in April, but it will only be available in two cities at first, and customers will have to pay an extra $10 a month to access it.

The 5G Moto Mod for Motorola's Moto Z3
The 5G Moto Mod for Motorola's Moto

Verizon's 5G Mobility service in Chicago and Minneapolis uses the new radio (NR) standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

As far as that 5G Moto Mod is concerned, pre-orders open tomorrow, March 14.

In Chicago, you'll have access to Verizon's 5G in The Loop, Magnificent Mile (around the Verizon store there), The Gold Coast, River North and Old Town at the outset. Of course, you'll need a compatible phone and there are none at this point.

The 5G Moto Mod, for Motorola's Moto Z3.

Mark your calendars for April 11, because that's when Verizon switches on its "real" 5G network in two US cities. However, not all Verizon subscribers will be able to get on 5G come April 11th, which is when Big Red's 5G service officially launches. Moto has the first 5G upgradeable smartphone. Alternatively, you can upgrade your smartphone to a Moto Z3 for $10 a month for 24 months, which means you'd save $240 off the regular price.

Last month, Sprint appeared to lead the pack by announcing it would start the first 5G service in May. After the pre-order period, it'll return back to its regular $350 sticker price, which is a bit pricey if you ask us.

"To buy a 5G Moto Mod, customers must either have an active Moto Z3 on their account or purchase a Moto Z3 at the same time as the 5G Moto Mod", Verizon said. Besides, we still don't want to think about how much the 5G-capable Galaxy S10 variant might cost. Sprint (s) has said it will offer 5G starting in May in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Kansas City but hasn't disclosed pricing.

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