Verizon will launch its pre-standard 5G service in four markets on October 1. The service, called Verizon 5G Home, is available for pre-order at 8 a.m. ET on Thursday, September 13. It will be available in the operator’s four launch markets: Indianapolis, Houston, Los Angeles and Sacramento, California.
The company’s pre-standard 5G is based upon the company’s own proprietary 5G equipment. However, Verizon has said it plans to quickly move to a standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) technology in 2019 as soon as manufacturers can make customer premises equipment (CPE) available.
Perhaps because of that eventual switch in CPE gear, the company is initially offering Verizon 5G Home for free for three months and will not charge customers for the router. After that three-month period, current Verizon customers with a qualifying smartphone plan will pay $50 per month. Non-Verizon customers will have to pay $70 per month.
And thanks to the company’s “white glove” installation service, customers will get the router professionally installed and set up to work with their other WiFi devices.
Verizon said that 5G customers can expect to get “typical” network speeds around 300 Mb/s, and depending upon location, they could get peak speeds of nearly 1 Gb/s. 5G is defined as providing speeds of 1 Gb/s and latency of less than 1 millisecond.
Verizon is also providing its first 5G Home customers with three months of free YouTube TV ($40 per month thereafter) and free Apple TV 4K or a Google Chromecast device installation.
First with 5G
When it launches October 1, Verizon will likely be the first major operator to launch a residential fixed 5G service, although it doesn’t use the 3GPP-based standard. Nevertheless, the company is making good on its promise. At the CES 2018 show in Las Vegas, then-CTO Hans Vestberg boldly proclaimed that his company would be first with 5G. Vestberg has since been promoted to CEO of the company.
Meanwhile, competitor AT&T has said it will launch standards-based mobile 5G in 12 markets by year-end. The company also announced earlier this week that it was going to launch a fixed 5G wireless service in 2019 using the CBRS spectrum band.