Verizon Announces Mobile 5G for April 11, 2019 in Chicago and Minneapolis

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 #1 US 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 plan5G 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.


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7 thoughts on “Verizon Announces Mobile 5G for April 11, 2019 in Chicago and Minneapolis

  1. Verizon: The largest mobile operator in the US recently announced that its initial mobile 5G (mmWave-based) service will become available in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis from April 11. For $10 per month, Verizon customers can add a new 5G unlimited plan to their existing 4G LTE unlimited plan. This means the minimum total price of a 4G plan with a 5G premium would be $85 per month, as Verizon’s 4G plan prices range from $75 to $95. Only the Motorola z3 smartphone with a Motorola 5G Mod snap-on module will be able to connect to the 28GHz 3GPP-based mobile 5G service initially. Verizon is offering the 5G Mod snap-on for $50, while the z3 phone costs $349. Verizon plans to launch its 5G service in 30 cities this year. (See Verizon Says Its Mobile 5G Service Is Really Unlimited and Verizon Announces First Mobile 5G Cities & Mobile Moto Module.)

  2. Verizon to Discontinue Copper in Heavily Populated Areas of the Northeast

    Verizon has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to retire copper in numerous areas of New York, New England and Pennsylvania, as it continues moving customers to fiber-based technology.

    The carrier said it plans to retire copper facilities and replace them with fiber facilities to provide services over its fiber-to-the-premises network infrastructure. It plans to do so on or after June 28.

    The changes will take place in more than 50 wire centers in New York, such as Flushing, JFK Airport, North Staten Island and West Staten Island. In addition, the changes in New England will take place at four wire centers in Massachusetts.

    And the change in Pennsylvania will take place at the Pottstown wire center.

    Verizon said updating its network from copper to fiber “benefits our customers because of fiber’s resiliency and reliability, especially in inclement weather.” Fiber also provides customers with “expanded capabilities to grow with current bandwidth demands for their home or business,” it said.

    After the retirement, Verizon will no longer offer services via copper facilities and cease maintaining them.

    If no objections are filed, a notice of copper retirement usually will be deemed final on the 90th day after the release of the commission’s public notice of the filing; however, if a retirement doesn’t involve any customers, those will be deemed final on the 15th day after the release of the public notice.

  3. Verizon offers $1.75M in prizes for 5G innovation

    The Verizon Built on 5G Challenge is accepting submissions until July 15, 2019 in a search for new products, applications and services that can make use of 5G. The winning submission gets a prize of $1 million, with $500,00 going to second place and $250,000 for third place; the winners will be revealed in October.

  4. WSJ (on-line sub required): Verizon Pauses Plans to Charge for 5G
    Carrier said earlier it would impose $10 monthly fee after three months; service had drawn mixed reviews

    Verizon is holding off for now on its plans to charge an extra $10 a month for faster 5G smartphone service.

    The largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers said Thursday it would waive that charge for an undetermined period for users of the new 5G-compatible Samsung smartphone in markets where the service would launch next, as well as in cities where rollouts have begun.

    Verizon turned on 5G service earlier this month in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, saying at the time that it would waive the $10 monthly fee for just three months. Analysts have since given mixed reviews of the service—which is available to users of the top two tiers of Verizon’s unlimited-data plans—for being limited in scope.

    “This is some of the blowback you get from being first” in offering smartphone 5G service, said John Hodulik, an analyst at UBS Group AG. “It didn’t make sense to charge people extra money for a service that they’re rarely going to use.”

    Verizon said Thursday it would roll out 5G service in parts of 20 additional cities including Phoenix, Detroit and Providence, R.I., by the end of the year. It didn’t specify when.

    A spokeswoman said customers in Chicago and Minneapolis with the first 5G phone Verizon sold, the Motorola Moto Z3 with a clip-on modem that makes it compatible, will begin paying for the service three months after their go-live date. Customers with that phone in the new cities will only receive three months of service free, while Samsung phone users in all 22 of the markets Verizon has announced so far will have the fee waived for an unspecified amount of time.

    Tami Erwin, head of Verizon’s new business-focused unit, said the carrier is waiving the cost in all the cities it has announced so far for an undetermined period to give customers time to experience and understand 5G.

    The carrier learned from the first two markets that “customers want more of it, and they want it everywhere,” she added. Verizon is working with municipalities to get the remaining zoning permissions it needs to add small cells and densify coverage in the inaugural cities, Ms. Erwin said.

    U.S. carriers are jostling to deliver 5G wireless in many markets this year and have sparred over the faster service’s branding. Upgrading networks is a capital-intensive undertaking that requires spectrum and investments in fiber, radios and antennas.

    “We are a long way from realizing all the dreams of 5G, but we have to start somewhere,” John Saw, chief technology officer at Sprint Corp., said at an industry conference in Brooklyn on Wednesday. The technology promises to disrupt industries like health care in the same way 4G connectivity helped Uber transform transportation, he said.

    Sprint plans to roll out the service in nine cities by the end of the second quarter, Mr. Saw said, adding that the carrier has installed antennas to facilitate 5G in those places but is awaiting the necessary software.“It has been difficult to get to where we are today,” Mr. Saw said.

    AT&T executives told analysts on an earnings call Wednesday that its 5G service was available in parts of 19 cities and that it would offer nationwide 5G coverage in 2020. It plans to add three new 5G markets soon.

    Some AT&T customers have begun seeing 5GE symbols on their smartphones to indicate that they are receiving higher-bandwidth service, a precursor to the carrier’s rollout of faster technology that meets 5G standards.

    “It’s having exactly the effect that you want it to have. Our customers see this tag and they go and do a speed check,” Randall Stephenson, the carrier’s chief executive, said on an analyst call. He added that in the next two or three years wireless customers could begin to pay a premium for the faster speeds.

    Neville Ray, chief technology officer at T-Mobile US Inc. criticized rivals’ limited 5G launches in a blog post this week, saying that the carrier would launch its version of the service “when the technology is ready for everyday customer use.” A spokesman said the carrier would offer nationwide 5G service in 2020.

    Write to Sarah Krouse at [email protected]

  5. Verizon CEO: ‘Tens of thousands’ of customers buying new 5G phones

    Verizon’s 5G network has reached speeds of 1.3 gigabits per second, CEO Hans Vestberg told CNBC as the carrier introduced Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G phone. Verizon plans to expand its 5G mobile network beyond Chicago and Minneapolis to 18 additional cities this year.

    Verizon is betting that customers will pay up for Samsung’s new 5G smartphone, even though the price point is high and the technology’s infrastructure is still being built up.

    “It’s a great experience,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said in an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell ” on Thursday.

    “I believe that there’s going to be people taking it. We are seeing tens of thousands of customers taking it already,” he said. “And today is the first day you can actually buy it.”

    The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is the first device that supports Verizon’s new 5G network out of the box. It follows the Motorola Z3, which also runs on 5G but only if you buy an additional $200 accessory that enables it.
    Download speeds on Verizon’s 5G network now feel like a proper next-gen leap over current LTE performance. Going over 700Mbps is very typical, and crossing that gigabit marker can happen regularly if you’re standing near one of the carrier’s 5G nodes, which utilize millimeter wave technology to achieve the faster download rates.

    When looking at download speeds, you’ve also got to factor in what’s on the other side. Are the servers and CDNs of your favorite streaming services optimized for this level of mobile network performance? For home broadband, maybe. But we’re entering a new era of potential for the devices in our pocket.

    5G deployment is going to take years before we hit the same saturation and blanket coverage that currently exists with LTE. Millimeter wave technology alone isn’t going to be enough: indoor coverage on Verizon’s 5G network is basically nonexistent, and that’s a major issue. And for now, uploads are still limited to LTE on Verizon’s 5G network. Tethering with the Galaxy S10 5G isn’t yet supported (at 5G speeds), which is annoying.

    Speeds drop quickly as you walk down the block from any 5G node, and the 5G signal is basically gone once you lose line of sight. Bafflingly, the 5G icon only appears when your phone is actively using data. At all other times, it displays 4G. This makes it difficult to tell exactly when you’re leaving a 5G coverage area. How convenient for a very young network! And as impressive as these speeds are, remember that there’s barely anyone on Verizon’s 5G network right now. What’s going to happen to those 1Gbps speed tests once people actually start buying 5G devices in significant numbers? All of this is to say that buying a $1,400 phone like the Galaxy S10 5G when coverage remains this spotty still seems pretty silly to me.

  6. Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently launched its fifth 5G-enabled device — Inseego Corp.’s MiFi M1000. Markedly, the Inseego MiFi is Verizon’s first business-ready 5G device that combines bandwidth and speed to meet customers’ expectations, with enterprise-grade security for businesses.

    Furthermore, the telecom and media giant launched 5G Ultra Wideband mobility service in Saint Paul, MN. The latest addition joins Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis and Providence (in select locations) as the fifth of more than 30 Verizon 5G mobility cities that the company plans to launch in 2019. (Read more: Verizon Launches Inseego 5G MiFi, Service Reaches St. Paul)

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