Verizon has activated its 5G wireless network in Chicago and Minneapolis, the company announced on Wednesday (April 3), and it plans to roll it out to 30 more markets by the end of the year, according to a report by CNBC.
The company won’t see revenue from the new network until 2021, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said.
The 5G network will be a complement to “5G Home,” which is Verizon’s wireless alternative to cable. The new network will allow for speeds up to 1Gbps, which is about 10 times speedier than tradition LTE coverage.
However, not all phones will automatically support the new technology, and only a select few will actually work with it at first. Verizon plans to release the Galaxy S10 5G later in this quarter, and it will be exclusive to the company for a few months.
Later in the year, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint will start selling the phone. The only current phone that supports the network is the Motorola Z3, and it can only do so with an accessory. The phone costs about $240 and the upgrade costs $200.
AT&T has plans to release its own 5G network, and it’s currently marketing it with the 5G+ Network brand. T-Mobile and Sprint also have plans to release 5G networks this year, but neither are activated.
A glimpse of the 5G future recently came from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The annual gathering, which ended March 1, featured 5G as one of its main themes, perhaps best expressed by Jonathan Davidson, wireless executive at Cisco Systems. According to The New York Times and other reports, he said during the gathering that “5G was ready for prime time, and would enable new applications in augmented reality, healthcare and industrial factories.”
By way of further example, “the consensus message” emerging from the conference seemed to be that “with the worlds of artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing aligning, the momentum behind 5G is almost irresistible,” according to another conference report.