Galaxy S10 5GSource: Android Central

5G is the next big technology and every carrier wants in on that action. With the exception of 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 S10 5G

Fast, smooth, and cutting edge

One of the most complete feeling flagship phones only gets better with 5G support and a massive battery. With a great display and cameras, this phone is the perfect tool for anyone that gets things done on the go.

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.

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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

Cities still expected to have coverage in 2019

  • Charlotte
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Kansas City
  • Little Rock
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Diego

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 has a strong phone lineup for 5G. Samsung has its massive and powerful Galaxy S10 5G and Galaxy Note 10+ 5G phones available delivering speeds over 1.4Gbps in early testing. The LG V50 ThinQ 5G as well as the Motorola Z4 with a 5G Moto Mod upgrade have the same wireless chips as the Galaxy. Similar 5G performance can be expected from these devices.

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 Above Unlimited and Beyond 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

Best 5G Plan in 2019

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 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 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?

Moto Z3 5G ModSource: Android Central

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 competitiion between ISPs like we have never seen.

7 reasons to be excited about 5G

The 5G Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Fast, smooth, and cutting edge

One of the most complete feeling flagship phones only gets better with 5G support and a massive battery. With a great display and cameras, this phone is the perfect tool for anyone that gets things done on the go.

5G from LG

LG V50 ThinQ 5G

A familiar design with 5G inside

With a 6.4 inch display and a Snapdragon 855, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G fits nicely in the hand and delivers stellar performance. Five great cameras paired with 5G connectivity makes this a multimedia enthusiast's dream.

Update, December 2019: Los Angeles, Des Moinese, and Memphis added to cities with 5G.

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