Verizon powers up worlds first commercial 5G network

Verizon 5G HomeVerizon has turned on the ‘world’s first’ commercial 5G network today (1 October), bringing the fifth-generation network to consumers in parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.

The mobile network operator has begun installing 5G Home for its ‘First on 5G’ customers in each of the four US cities. These members get perks including having free access to the 5G Home service and YouTube TV for the first three months, as well as free installation and equipment, early access to new services, and a free Apple TV 4K or Google Chromecast Ultra. Following the introductory period, Verizon Wireless customers with a qualifying smartphone plan will pay $50 per month, while all other customers will pay $70 per month.

“The world’s first commercial 5G service is here,” said Ronan Dunne, president of Verizon Wireless. “We’ve formed incredible partnerships with many of the world’s leading technology companies, the international technical standards bodies, public officials, developers and our own customers to drive the 5G ecosystem forward, faster than most had predicted. And now, actual customers. It’s been an incredible journey…and we’re just at the starting line.”

The 5G service launched by Verizon is built on the company’s 5G TF network standard while it, and the rest of the industry, waits for the formal 3GPP 5G NR standard to be finalised. Verizon says that as its technology partners introduce hardware, software, chipsets, and devices on the 5G NR standard, it’ll upgrade its First on 5G customers to the equipment for free. At the same time, it will expand its 5G broadband internet coverage area both within its current cities and to new cities.