Verizon’s 5G network in 2020 is tiny. That’s not a controversial statement or knock on the company. They chose to push the portion of 5G (mmW) that doesn’t cover much ground, is really only available outdoors, and requires you to have a mostly direct-line-of-sight in order for it to provide you with an impressive experience.
Their advertising of that tiny 5G network has ruffled some feathers, though. This week, the company was told to chill out with availability claims and be more clear with customers about the chances they may connect to Verizon 5G.
The National Advertising Division (NAD), which is the group that slaps the hands of carriers like Verizon if their advertising isn’t on the level, told Big Red (after complaints from AT&T) that claims such as their 5G being “widely available in cities across the country” and “broadly and readily accessible in cities where it has been launched,” is misleading. It wants them to stop saying those things and Verizon has said it will comply, even though it doesn’t agree with all aspects of NAD’s decision.
As we have mentioned countless times on this here site, Verizon’s network is only in a few dozen cities across the US. Within those cities, its 5G is often available to a handful of blocks, rather than widely across a city or county or state. Sure, the network is absurdly fast when you are connected to it, it’s just that connecting to it won’t happen often for the majority of their customers. And that’s where NAD came in this week to tell Verizon to be more clear about this.
At some point later this year, Verizon will fire up nationwide 5G and match T-Mobile and AT&T. Once that happens, their availability claims will be easier to acknowledge. Until then, stay comfortable on 4G and throw yourself a little party if that 5G UW Verizon logo ever pops up.