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Verizon reveals first US cities to have 5G access

Verizon has announced that it will be launching mobile 5G services in Minneapolis and Chicago next month.

The operator plans to amend and update data plans for its post-paid customers. They will offer an initial single 5G compatible device called the MOTO Z3 which is expected to connect to the network through the Moto Mod. Additional 5G devices from the likes of LG and Samsung will be offered at a later date.

Unlimited 5G data packages will be offered as a $10 add-on to customers on their range of unlimited tariffs. The Moto Z3 device will require a new attachment which goes onto the phone and customers will be able to purchase the device for $350 and the attachment for $50.

Verizon CTO Kyle Malady said that 5G technology will “change the way we live, work, learn and play” and repeated their aim to offer mobile access to over 30 cities by the end of the year.

Chicago and Minneapolis will be the first two cities to access 5G services. Verizon has already launched an early version of fixed 5G services for home broadband in October last year in Houston, Sacramento, Indianapolis and Los Angeles.

Verizon said that these cities previously relied on the early version 5G and that its new mobile 5G network and services aim to adhere to 3GPP standards. Networks, both fixed and mobile, will rely upon Verizon’s Ultra Wideband technology which uses mmWave spectrum. Once users move out of the 5G coverage area, the Moto Mod will provide signal to Verizon’s 4G LTE network.

AT&T already offers 5G services in over 12 cities. Sprint and T-Mobile are planning to merge soon and have made it clear that they also aim on rolling out 5G coverage this year.

PwC adviser, Dan Hays, commented on the issue by stating: “What the mobile industry is facing is a gigantic chicken and egg problem: Do I spend billions of dollars deploying a network before devices are widely available or do I motivate people to pay a premium to use compatible devices while the network is getting ready?”