Cell tower in the treesSource: Nick Sutrich/Android Central

What you need to know

  • Los Angeles marks the 18th market Verizon's Ultra Wideband 5G network is available in.
  • 7 devices in total support Verizon's 5G network, including the Galaxy S10 5G and LG V50 5G.
  • Coverage is only available in parts of the city right now, with a wider rollout planned soon.

Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband network continues to grow with the flip of a switch as Los Angeles, California marks the 18th market that Verizon has brought 5G to. If you're rocking a Galaxy S10 5G or an LG V50 5G and live in LA, you might be seeing some significant speed increases while browsing the web on your phone today. As we've seen in other cities where Verizon's millimeter wave 5G has rolled out, such as New York City, you're not going to find coverage on every single street corner in all of LA.

Right now, Verizon hasn't updated its coverage maps to include Los Angeles just yet, so it's anyone's best guess as to which exact streets you'll find coverage on. If you've got one of the handful of devices that works on Verizon's next-generation 5G network and are in the coverage area, though, expect some truly mind-blowing speeds from your phone. We've seen as high as 1.4Gbps in dense urban areas of Chicago, which is a massive leap ahead of what 4G LTE networks can manage.

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

5G isn't just about speed though, it's about latency as well. In fact, latency might be the single most noticeable improvement about 5G when compared to 4G, which, ironically, was probably the biggest change from 3G to 4G. Applications that rely on near real-time communication with a network, such as Google Stadia or other streaming gaming services, will see significant improvements to performance when used on a 5G cellular network. The biggest problem, right now, is coverage.

Verizon has been working feverishly to roll out its 5G network, as millimeter wave (what Verizon calls Ultra Wideband) has a much shorter range than current 4G LTE networks. Compacting that problem is that the 24GHz and higher spectrum has a harder time penetrating buildings and thus, in urban areas where large buildings are close to each other, such a rollout requires a lot more equipment and more sophisicated planning and execution than less dense suburban and rural areas. A wider rollout is expected as we progress through 2020.

Verizon's push to use mmWave technology instead of Sub-6 means its rollout is going to be more difficult and take longer than carriers like T-Mobile, which are already claiming victory with the rollout of its 5G network. As we've seen from the results, though, working hard through life's more difficult challenges can pay off in the end.

5G on Verizon: Everything you need to know

AUKEY 18W USB-C Power Bank with Quick Charge 3.0 ($30 at Amazon)

This power bank can recharge quickly thanks to Power Delivery USB-C charging, and it has Qualcomm Quick Charge to juice up your Galaxy S10 in a hurry.

Samsung EVO Select 256GB MicroSD card ($40 at Amazon)

Expand your S10's memory and make room for more photos, music, movies, or more apps with this high-speed, high-capacity card.

InvisibleShield Ultra Clear ($30 at ZAGG)

Easy to install

InvisibleShield's screen protector carries the "Designed for Samsung" certification, and while it's not the tempered glass screen protectors we normally look to the brand for, the Ultra Clear film protectors are shiny, clear, and case-friendly quality. The lifetime warranty here is just as tough as ever, offering replacements if your film ever clouds, tears, or warps.

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