Verizon launches 5G in Chicago, Minneapolis at $10 extra cost

Verizon just turned on its 5G network in the US a week ahead of schedule

By the end of this year, Verizon expects to have its 5G service live in more than 30 markets.

Verizon Wireless just couldn't let SK Telecom have all the 5G bragging rights, so it today activated its mobile 5G Ultra Wideband wireless service in "select areas" of Minneapolis and Chicago.

"We're lighting up our 5G Ultra Wideband network in Chicago and Minneapolis, providing the world's first commercial 5G mobile service with a 5G-enabled smartphone", CEO Hans Vestberg touted in a statement. In Chicago, that means areas of the West Loop and the South Loop - Verizon says around landmarks such as Union Station, Willis Tower, The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and The Chicago Theatre - in addition to the Verizon store on The Magnificent Mile.

In Minneapolis, meanwhile, 5G is focused in the Downtown area. Milwaukee's 5G coverage areas are in Downtown West, Downtown East, Elliot Park, and the Mall of America's Verizon Store.

Although this makes Verizon and Motorola the first to 5G in the world, there's still the question of what that really means for all of us, the people using the the first 5G phone on the first 5G network - which is only available in parts of two USA cities.

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Verizon is off to an early lead, but the race is only just starting.

Verizon will have the Galaxy S10 5G in a few weeks, but for now, the only way to experience 5G is to buy 2018's Moto Z3 and the newly launched 5G Moto Mod. The US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis also has an indoor 5G network.

For the first three months, 5G data will be free.

In two separate tests that were posted within the past 24 hours, we saw one speedtest (above) hit 760Mbps down, while a second test topped out at around 560Mbps. Samsung is expected to release a 5G model through Verizon by June and other USA carriers by the end of the year.

How Fast Is Verizon 5G?

After that, postpaid customers on any Verizon unlimited plan - including Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, or Above Unlimited - will pay $10 extra per month for unlimited 5G data. AT&T launched its 5G service in select areas late a year ago, but it only made a single 5G hotspot available to select testers and hasn't said a peep since.

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