Verizon will switch on mobile 5G in Chicago and Minneapolis April 11th

Donna Miller
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 a year ago in select cities. In a statement, Verizon CTO Kyle Malady said that the company is only starting in Chicago and Minneapolis, with only parts of the cities getting 5G coverage initially. Meanwhile, customers with a Moto z3 and any Verizon unlimited plan can get the product for $50 if they sign up for the 5G service at $10 per month (with the first three months free) on top of their current plans, that now cost from $85 to $105 for 24 months. Verizon says it'll flip the switch next month on a much-hyped, next-generation "5G" phone network.

The 4G LTE-enabled Moto Z3 is already out, but its 5G Moto Mod add-on arrives on Thursday, April 11, and pre-orders start even sooner: tomorrow, Thursday, March 14. In addition to Verizon's strap-on approach, AT&T calling its upgraded 4G service "5G E". As long as you have one of Verizon's unlimited plans (Go, Beyond, or Above Unlimited), you can pay $10/mo and get access to 5G.

"5G data usage with the Moto Mod is unlimited with no data deprioritization", a Verizon spokesperson told Ars today.

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Live in a Verizon 5G Home area and want to get busy with the 5G Moto Mod? After the pre-order period, it'll return back to its regular $350 sticker price, which is a bit pricey if you ask us.

While Verizon is leading the charge to test its 5G services, industry analysts say the higher-speed networks are unlikely to be widely available until the middle of the next decade. Later in the year, Verizon will launch the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G too, but we don't have timing for release on that.

Early adopters who live in Chicago or Minneapolis will no doubt pounce at the opportunity to hop onto a 5G network that promises to bring significantly faster data speeds and more bandwidth for devices, but we recommend waiting for proper phones with built-in 5G modems to come out first. For now, 5G Mobility is only in Chicago and Minneapolis.

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