Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Verizon launches 5G in Chicago, Minneapolis at $10 extra cost

Verizon launches 5G in Chicago, Minneapolis at $10 extra cost

Verizon announced it would kick off its new 5G mobile wireless service in portions of Chicago and Minneapolis in April, the start of a plan to reach 30 cities with the super-fast, next generation offering by year-end. We know Big Red is planning to deploy 5G connectivity across "more than 30 United States cities" by the end of the year, but said cities remain under wraps and there are no expansion dates beyond Chicago and Minneapolis to share at the moment. If you are already a Verizon customer, just buy a Moto Z3 and then place your pre-order for the 5G Moto Mod.

One bit of good news is that Verizon won't apply throttling (or "de-prioritization") to the 5G service, but that may change later on, and slowdowns will continue to apply to Verizon's existing 4G service.

Verizon is also planning to sell the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, but there's no availability date yet.

The Motorola 5G Moto Mod packs Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 SoC that is used to boot the company's X50 modem, the key enabler of the developer's 5G platform. The first 5G Ultra Wideband mobility cities are Chicago and Minneapolis, Verizon said in a press release. The offer is available only on unlimited plans, which now start at $75 for one person or $160 for a family of four without 5G. That fee will be waived for the first three months, which is nice, but if you were expecting Verizon to offer 5G service at no extra cost, this is probably some sour news.

Moto Z3 5G Moto Mod

If the device sounds familiar, that's because Motorola spoke about the device in recent weeks, showing the 5G Moto Mod in Barcelona at MWC 2019.

As we've said many times: Carriers and device makers will be slinging 5G around hard this year. 5G service in Minneapolis will be in Downtown West, Downtown East, and Elliot Park. If you detach the mod, you'll naturally give up your "ultra-fast" speeds.

Wireless providers are rushing to be the first to roll out 5G technology. However, both of these deals only work on March 14. Sprint (s) has said it will offer 5G starting in May in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Kansas City but hasn't disclosed pricing.

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