Verizon finally revealed its first 5G cities this morning, as well as the initial pricing that will get your compatible phone on that new network. As you may have guessed, they are starting the rollout off slowly with a ramp-up to more markets coming later this year.
So what are Verizon’s first 5G markets? Chicago and Minneapolis. Both will see Verizon 5G Mobility (that’s the fancy name for Big Red’s mobile 5G servcice) go live on April 11 in select areas. The plan is still to launch Verizon 5G in 30 cities by the end of 2019.
In Chicago, that will mean 5G service in The Loop, Magnificent Mile, The Gold Coast, River North, and Old Town. As someone not from Chicago, you’ll have to tell me if that’s a big area or not. For Minneapolis, you are looking at 5G in Downtown West, Downtown East, and Elliot Park. Again, no idea if that’s a big area or not. Verizon did say that they plan to “rapidly expand,” though.
How much will Verizon 5G service cost? For now, 5G Mobility is a $10 add-on feature. 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. Of course, you’ll need a compatible phone and there are none at this point. That will change soon with the Moto Z3 and its 5G Moto Mod.
Verizon says that users who add the $10 5G service will get unlimited data when on 5G with no limits or de-prioritization. Verizon is waiving the $10 fee for the first 3 months too.
What happens if you aren’t in a 5G area? No big deal – you’ll just fallback to Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
What are Verizon’s 5G devices? For now, the Moto Z3 and its 5G Moto Mod. If you want one, the 5G Moto Mod will go up for pre-order on March 14 for $50. If you don’t pre-order, the retail price is $349 when it arrives April 11. Should you care enough about Verizon 5G, live in Minneapolis or Chicago, or already own a Moto Z3, that’s not a bad pre-order deal. I’m not sure anyone should ever pay $349 for a 5G Moto Mod brick.
To start the Moto Z3 with a 5G Moto Mod attached is the only device that can connect to Verizon’s 5G network. Later in the year, Verizon will launch the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G too, but we don’t have timing for release on that.
Live in a Verizon 5G Home area and want to get busy with the 5G Moto Mod? Sorry. Verizon’s 5G Mobility and 5G Home network are two different technologies that don’t play nicely together. For now, 5G Mobility is only in Chicago and Minneapolis. If you are in a 5G Home area (LA, Houston, Sacramento, or Indianapolis), you are out of luck.
You ready for some 5G action?
More info on Verizon 5G Mobility [FAQ]