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article imageVerizon 5G network is blazing fast but hard to find

By Ken Hanly     Apr 6, 2019 in Technology
Chicago - A week earlier than planned Verizon is offering 5G service in select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis boasting that for the first time ever customers could access a commercial 5G network with first commercially available 5G enabled smartphone.
Verizon has not explained why it had advanced the date it would be available by a week. However, in South Korea 5G carriers also went live yesterday so perhaps Verizon is trying to keep up with global competitors. The service was originally scheduled to start in parts of Minneapolis and Chicago on April 11 as reported in a recent Digital Journal article.
Verizon has an announcement of its service and description that says in part: "5G Ultra Wideband runs on a much higher frequency than 4G LTE. That’s one reason why it’ll provide ultra-fast speeds, reduce lag time to 10 milliseconds and have far greater network capacity. So, in a future where billions of devices demand more data, our 5G network will be ready."
5G is fast but scarce
A recent article notes: "I know you want speed tests, so to get started, yes, Verizon’s 5G data speeds are quite fast compared to what your smartphone can handle right now. I’m hitting between 400 and 600 Mbps on downloads. I can also tell you that, at least in Chicago, this feels like a premature launch, and 5G can be awfully hard to come by. When you do find it, you've basically got to stay where you are to see what it's capable of."
What you need to get the 5G speed
You will need not only the midrange Motorola Moto Z3 but also the 5G Moto Mod. The Moto Mod just went on sale yesterday. It will set you back $200. For that you get four millimeter wave antenna arrays that provide optimal 5G reception. There is also a 2,000mAh battery in the Moto Mod that will save you phone from draining its juice.
The Z3 and Moto Mod together still cost less than what you will shell out for the coming Samsung Galaxy 510 SG whenever it arrives. Chris Welch writing in the Verge says that it is still a big investment for a network he claims is barely up and running.
Cost of service
The service costs an extra $10 per month for the 5G service. Welch recommends caution about buying the Moto Z3 the Moto Mod and paying the extra $10 per month for the 5G service. Welch thought it would be better to wait until the service rollout make substantial progress which will happen over the coming weeks and months.
Welch lists the areas that Verizon claims have 5G service in Chicago. However, Welch found that he could not get a 5G signal at several of the locations listed. He also had trouble at some locations with signals flipping back and forth as he went through the area.
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