Verizon plans to deploy its mobile 5G “ultra wideband” network in Chicago and Minneapolis on April 11th, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Verizon CTO Kyle Malady said that the company is only starting in Chicago and Minneapolis, with only parts of the cities getting 5G coverage initially. The carrier plans to have more than 30 U.S. markets running 5G connections by the end of the year.
- Preorders for the Verizon-exclusive 5G Moto mod – the first 5G-upgradeable smartphone – begin March 14, with a $50 special offer
- Verizon’s 5G service plan comes with unlimited data, available for just $10 a month (with the first three months free) with any Verizon unlimited plan, including Verizon Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited plans
- Customers that order a 5G Moto mod on March 14 get a FREE Moto z3 when they activate a new line of service on a Verizon device payment plan
- 5G Ultra Wideband technology uses new radio technology and new device hardware to deliver advanced capabilities to consumers and businesses.
- When customers move outside Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband coverage area, the 5G moto mod automatically and seamlessly hands off the signal to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the nation’s best and most reliable 4G LTE network.
- Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service will continue to improve as Verizon expands capabilities and coverage areas.
Editor’s Note: Moto phones are made by Mototola Mobility which is owned by Lenovo
“Continuing our track record of 5G ‘firsts,’ we are thrilled to bring the first 5G-upgradeable smartphone exclusively to Verizon customers,” said Verizon’s chief technology officer, Kyle Malady. “Not all 5G networks are the same. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network is built by the company with the nation’s best and most reliable 4G LTE network. It will change the way we live, work, learn and play, starting in Chicago and Minneapolis and rapidly expanding to more than 30 U.S. markets this year.”
“At Motorola we proudly deliver innovations, like the 5G Moto mod and Moto z3, that change how people connect with each other and use technology in daily life,” said Rudi Kalil, vice president and general manager, North America at Motorola. “We’re very excited that the transformative 5G Moto mod developed at our HQ in Chicago will soon be used by our own community, in addition to Minneapolis, to bring our bright 5G future to life.”
Verizon said that its 5G offering will come with unlimited data that will cost $10 a month with any Verizon unlimited plan. That’s on top of what unlimited customers are paying already. The first three months of Verizon’s 5G unlimited data will be free to customers. Verizon also announced that it will be exclusively offering the 5G Moto Mod for pre-order starting on Mar. 14. The Moto Mod is an add-on for the Moto Z3 smartphone that effectively turns it into a 5G phone. Verizon said that the Moto Z3 and Moto Mod combination will turn it into the world’s first 5G phone.
Dan Hays, an adviser at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting firm, said $10 a month is right in line with what its research shows customers are willing to pay for premium wireless connections. Hays said he believes most people aren’t willing to change the device they’re currently using to another brand or model just because it has 5G.
Comment: Just like all the other fake mobile 5G offerings, Verizon’s Ultra Wideband uses 3GPP NR NSA which means it relies on LTE signaling/control plane as well as LTE’s Evolved Packet Core (EPC). Further, there isn’t a phone available yet to US customers that can operate independently on any of the announced pre-IMT 2020 standard 5G networks. In February 2019, Samsung announced its first ever 5G smartphone – the Galaxy S10 5G. The device will be available to Verizon customers during the second quarter of this year. It will be available from other wireless carriers later this summer. While Samsung S10 5G and other pre-standard 5G phones use 3GPP Rel 15 NR for the data plane, they all use LTE signalling for the control plane.