I’ve spent the past 18 hours in Chicago not feasting on hot dogs or deep-dish pizza, but kicking the tires on Verizon’s just-launched 5G mobile network.
Yesterday, the leading US carrier triumphantly declared that it had lit up its 5G service in “select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis,” and that “for the first time ever, customers can access a commercial 5G network with the world’s first commercially available 5G-enabled smartphone.” The launch came a week earlier than initially planned.
Verizon hasn’t said why it abruptly moved things up, but carriers in South Korea also went live with 5G yesterday, so it’s possible the company didn’t want to get beat by its global peers.
It costs an extra $200 and contains four millimeter wave antenna arrays for optimal 5G reception.
Coverage is so extremely sparse that, for right now, I’d caution anyone against buying the 5G Moto Mod and paying Verizon an extra $10 every month to receive 5G.
Customers also have 5G Ultra Wideband service in the Verizon store on The Magnificent Mile and throughout The Gold Coast, Old Town and River North.