Verizon has turned on its super-fast 5G mobile network in two cities, and there's actually a phone you can buy right now to use with it
- Verizon on Wednesday has turned on its mobile 5G network, promising significantly faster speeds than the 4G LTE networks we've been using so far.
- So far, only one phone can connect to Verizon's 5G mobile network: The Motorola Moto Z3, which needs a "5G "Moto Mod" attachment to connect to Verizon's 5G network.
- So far, the only other 5G-compatible phone coming to the US is the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which is coming in the first half of this year as an exclusive to Verizon to start with.
- AT&T has already activated its own 5G network, but there are no phones that support AT&T's 5G network yet.
Verizon has officially turned on its mobile 5G network in Minneapolis and Chicago.
Verizon promises that its 5G network delivers speeds up to one gigabit-per-second (Gbps). Those speeds are significantly faster than the 4G LTE network we've been using so far to browse the web, stream videos and music, and lurk on social media.
To put Verizon's 5G speed claim into perspective, I'm lucky to get around 20 megabits-per-second - 2% the speed of one gigabit-per-second - on Verizon's 4G LTE network in and around New York City.
For now, the only phone that can connect to Verizon's 5G network in Minneapolis and Chicago is the $480 Motorola Moto Z3, which requires a separate $350 5G "Moto Mod" that attaches to the back of the Z3 smartphone to let the phone connect to Verizon's 5G network.
Verizon is selling the Moto Z3 for a discounted $240, and the 5G mod for a discounted $200. Verizon says the 5G mod for the Z3 is available to buy starting on Wednesday.
More 5G smartphones are coming out later this year. The $1,200 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is coming out in the first half of 2019 and will be a Verizon exclusive to start with. It'll be available on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint after the second half of 2019.
Currently, only AT&T has an active 5G network in 12 cities, which it calls "5G+," which is a supposedly faster network than AT&T's regular 5G network that hasn't yet rolled out. AT&T's 5G and 5G+ shouldn't be confused with its "5G E" network that's simply a renamed version of its existing 4G LTE Advanced Pro network that most recent smartphones can connect to.
Unfortunately for AT&T customers, AT&T doesn't sell a phone that can actually connect to its 5G+ network. That's set to change when the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is made available to AT&T customers in the second half of the year.
5G network availability from T-Mobile and Sprint is still vague.
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