It's worth noting that while this is fast, it's not almost as fast as Verizon promised during a CES 2019 keynote where Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said that the new network would provide peak data rates of 1Gbps in the short-term, rising to 10Gbps as the technology matures. The Moto Z3 with a 5G Mod is the only device now capable of connecting to it and I can't imagine many own both. Although Verizon's preorder pricing for the 5G Moto Mod was at a spectacularly low $50, you'll now have to pay $199.99 for that privilege ($349 MSRP).
There are caveats to this 5G launch. Samsung, meanwhile, has yet to announce when a 5G version of its latest Galaxy smartphone is going to be available in the United States.
The service Verizon is offering - 5G, the fifth generation of wireless data networks - could provide consumers Internet speeds that are up to 100 times faster than 4G networks, according to an industry trade association.
In Chicago, 5G service will work in the West Loop and South Loop, as well as around landmarks like Union Station, Willis Tower, and The Art Institute of Chicago. Verizon says 5G Ultra Wideband service is also available in its store on the Magnificent Mile as well as throughout the Gold Coast, Old Town and North River. In Minneapolis, service will be active in Downtown West, Downtown East, and around U.S. Bank Stadium. Not coincidentally, that's the site of this weekend's Final Four action in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Trump says he's prepared to close Mexico border if necessary
A Border Patrol agent loads detained migrants into a van at the U.S-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on March 31, 2019. One auto industry analyst estimates that a shut down could halt auto production in most USA factories within a week.
So, while the 5G network is clearly the faster of the two, it's not by an order of magnitude. The promise is peak download speeds of up to 1 Gbps, assuming you have the right hardware, and average latency of 30 milliseconds. The carrier expects those speeds to improve on a regular basis as the network is upgraded.
For context, when we tested LTE speeds in Chicago a year ago, Verizon averaged a download speed of 85.8 Mbps, so even 400 Mbps speeds would be a huge jump. On the 5G network, the download took just shy of 4 minutes and 30 seconds. That's because 5G service relies on millimeter wave frequencies (which Verizon calls ultra-wideband).
"Verizon customers will be the first in the world to have the power of 5G in their hands", said Hans Vestberg, Verizon's chairman and chief executive officer in a statement.
Wireless providers are rushing to establish 5G networks, creating a bitter rivalry between top US carriers. Service is now limited to 5G hotspots, though, until AT&T starts selling 5G-capable phones.