Verizon turns on the world's first 5G network

Verizon has set a major landmark in the development of 5G by announcing its launch of the next-generation networks.

The US operator has said it has activated its 5G Home network across four US cities, marking the first official public launch of the technology anywhere in the world.

Residents in parts of Los Angeles, Sacramento, Houston and Indianapolis are set to benefit from increased download speeds, as well as improved efficiency and reliability.

5G first launch

The four cities were chosen by Verizon due to their "forward-looking" state policy, as well as the support of local leaders, with Houston resident Clayton Harris becoming the world's first 5G customer.

5G Home will cost $50 a month for Verizon Wireless customers with a qualifying smartphone plan, with everyone else set to pay $70 a month. Customers will get a free Apple TV 4K or Chromecast Ultra at installation, which is also free.

“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 network is built on the 5G TF standard championed by Verizon, with the company saying this is a quicker alternative than waiting for the formal 3GPP 5G NR standard to be incorporated into network equipment, devices, chipsets and software.

However Verizon says that as its 5G technology partners introduce new offerings on the 3GPP 5G NR standard, it will upgrade customers at no charge.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.