Since 4G mobile network reached its saturation point in the United States, numerous companies have joined the race to become the first to provide 5G services. Building on the 4G LTE technology, 5G seeks to significantly enhance internet speed to its customers. While many network providers have promised the launch of 5G services within this decade, Verizon becomes the first to ultimately deliver. On 1st October, 2018, Verizon is set to launch the next-generation 5G service, making it the first in the world to provide commercial 5G internet to users.
The service will be rolled out in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston, and Indianapolis. Dubbed as 5G Home, residents of the following cities can check if their locality falls under Verizon’s 5G domain. The company has utilized its indigenous fiber optic, the Ultra-Wideband Network to run the super-fast internet. It also uses “small cells”, or mini cell towers, to wirelessly transmit the internet connection to household modems as opposed to a wired infrastructure.
The internet speed provided by 5G Home is set to be the fastest in existence. On an average, users can avail speeds up to 300 Mbps, which could peak to 1Gbps in selected times. According to PCMag, the average home internet speed in the U.S. is measured at 92 Mbps. Such speed would support super-fast downloads, a 1 GB file in less than 30 seconds, and can handle the streaming of 4K videos as well. It’s no wonder that Verizon has teamed up with Apple and Google to provide customers with Google Chromecast Ultra or Apple TV 4K device for ultra-high-definition TV and movie streaming.
For customers availing Verizon’s 4G services, the offering would be free of cost and in the form of an upgrade. The service would cost $50 a month for existing Verizon customers and $70 a month for non-Verizon customers. The pricing gives Verizon a significant edge over broadband service providers. At present, Century Link and Comcast both offer 150 Mbps at $55-60, which would enable customers living in selected cities to opt for Verizon’s plan instead.
The rollout of 5G Home will enable Verizon to lay the groundwork for an extensive 5G mobile network in the near future. Bringing ultra-high-speed and low-latency internet to smartphones and other devices is the next step for the company, which can utilize the 5G infrastructure to achieve that. Meanwhile, AT&T and T-Mobile should also speed up their 5G rollout process in order to catch Verizon in being the dominant market player.
The announcement by Verizon has changed the game not only for internet service providers but also for customers. Verizon has stated that customers outside of these four cities can sign up for 5G Home, which would grant them early access when it arrives in their neighborhood. It’s early to state if Verizon’s speed claim actually holds up, but it’s doubtful that the company would make false promises in an extremely fierce race. In a year or so, the prevalence of 5G might increase across the U.S., but for now, Verizon remains the only provider to make it available.