Verizon 5G speed testSource: Android Central

5G is the next big technology and every carrier wants in on that action. Except for on AT&T's 5Ge network, seeing 5G on your device means that you are using the newest and fastest wireless technology available. The only problem is that every carrier has a different plan for implementing it. Verizon, for example, is making sure it's at the front of the pack in terms of deployment and overall speed.

Understanding how each carrier will deploy 5G can be confusing but we've been keeping tabs on all of them. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's newest and fastest wireless network.

The 5G Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G

A beautiful and fast phone

One of Samsung's fastest and most capable phones, it comes equipped with a fast CPU, 12GB of RAM, a large 4,500mAh, and a great set of cameras. The Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra both support Verizon's fast Ultra Wideband 5G.

When will my area even get 5G?

Verizon 5G node ChicagoSource: Android Central

Verizon is swiftly expanding its 5G network with 21 cities already showing some level of coverage. Verizon is pushing forward with its plan to cover more cities in 2019 with the current cities getting more coverage as the density of towers increases.

Verizon is offering the Pixel 4a for just $10/mo on new Unlimited lines

Verizon has released a set of maps showing the current coverage for its 5G UWB network. Coverage is progressing but there's still a long way to go.

Cities with coverage

5G expansion is going to be much more cumbersome than 4G deployment due to the sheer number of towers needed. Many more towers are needed because Verizon's current 5G deployment uses millimeter-wave technology. While very fast and capable of handling many devices connected, each tower covers a much smaller area than previous cell technology.

If you live outside of a major urban area it may seem like you have no chance for 5G coverage but thanks to dynamic spectrum sharing eventually coming into play on the sort of spectrum used for LTE, coverage will be greatly improved.

Here's every U.S. city with 5G coverage right now

Which devices should I get to be 5G ready?

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Verizon testSource: Android Central

Verizon only has one type of 5G on with its Ultra Wideband network, so all of its phones work on this same network. Having one of the newer phones such as the Galaxy S20+, the OnePlus 8 5G UW, or LG V60 ThinQ 5G UW phones will be able to use the network more efficiently thanks to newer modem. Still, unlike every other carrier, even the original run of 5G phones like the Galaxy S20 5G or LG V50 ThinQ 5G will be able to access the full speed of the network.

Verizon has a Wi-Fi hotspot called the Verizon 5G MiFi M1000 Hotspot. This is the first hotspot available on Verizon's 5G network bringing all of the speed of 5G to your Wi-Fi devices without needed to invest in a 5G phone.

Which plan do I need for access?

Currently, 5G is supported on Verizon's Play More, Do More, and Get More Unlimited plans, which offer unlimited data on 5G, including unlimited hotspot usage. It also increases the streaming video resolution from 720p to 4K. 5G connectivity is offered free of charge for a limited time and $10 per month after that. There's currently no set date for this change.

Everything else stays the same on the 4G side of the plans. The cheaper Beyond Unlimited plan starts at $85 per month for one device and has unlimited LTE data with deprioritization at 22GB and a 15GB hotspot. The price per device is less with more devices added. It offers free service in Canada and Mexico as well as a free Apple Music subscription. At $10 more, the Above Unlimited plan increases the LTE deprioritization amount to 75GB and the hotspot to 20GB. It adds more support for international use and 500GB of cloud storage.

Play More Do More Get More
5G data unlimited unlimited unlimited
5G hotspot unlimited unlimited unlimited
5G video 4K 4K 4K
Premium data 25GB 50GB 75GB
LTE hotspot 15GB 15GB 30GB
Talk and text unlimited unlimited unlimited
LTE video 720p 480p 720p
Mexico and Canada talk and text talk and text talk and text
Apple Music included 6 month trial included

Verizon Prepaid still doesn't have any plans that include 5G access and MVNOs, for the most part, have been slow to buy into 5G. US Mobile, however, has announced plans to offer 5G in the coming months and has even started a discounted early access program.

Best 5G Plan in 2020

What tech is Verizon using?

Verizon 5G logoSource: Verizon

Ultra Wideband or UWB is how Verizon is branding its millimeter-wave 5G. This name refers to the vast amounts of spectrum Verizon has access to in the higher frequency bands of 5G. That's above 24Ghz. To put that in perspective, a wireless router in your home uses frequencies at 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. This spectrum can carry a huge amount of data but is much weaker at building penetration, needing a nearly unobstructed line of sight with the tower.

At some point, Verizon could repurpose its spectrum from its LTE deployment for greater coverage. According to Ars Technica, Verizon's CEO Hans Vestberg stated that millimeter wave is not intended for coverage and Verizon will use dynamic spectrum sharing to improve coverage. This will essentially share its spectrum between 4G and 5G connections as needed increasing coverage thanks to the lower frequency spectrum used.

Does it do home internet?

Verizon 5G home truckSource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

With approximate speeds of 300Mbps, using Verizon's 5G Home service may be the replacement for wired home internet we've been waiting for. As a $50 per month service with an existing Verizon Wireless plan and $70 without, this service is very competitive with most ISPs.

The coverage issues noted above are not an issue with this usage because a powerful and precisely placed receiver converts the 5G signal into traditional home internet with a stationary router. This router provides customers with all of the normal connections expected of a router such as Ethernet connections.

Is 5G worth it for most people?

Motorola Edge Plus 5g TestSource: Michael Fisher

If you have a fairly new phone with support for Verizon's full LTE Advanced network, then you probably won't get that much of a benefit from 5G just yet. As time goes on, more and more services will begin to take advantage of the increased speeds and better latency available with 5G. This will make it a much better buy, assuming you live in a place that has or will be getting 5G coverage soon. For many people, the jump to 5G isn't even available yet and may not be for quite some time.

As an enthusiast, I'm thrilled about the concept of 5G bringing fast connections to more people than has been possible with fiber-optic connections. Verizon being able to deliver fiber-optic levels of performance to a phone can help drive competition between ISPs as we have never seen.

7 reasons to be excited about 5G

The 5G Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G

A beautiful and fast phone

One of Samsung's fastest and most capable phones, it comes equipped with a fast CPU, 12GB of RAM, a large 4,500mAh, and a great set of cameras. The Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra both support Verizon's fast Ultra Wideband 5G.

Update, May 2020: Supported devices and cities covered have been brought up to date.

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