Verizon disclosed a little more on Thursday about its planned super-fast 5G network. Already offering 5G as a home Internet service in parts of four cities, Verizon said it would debut mobile 5G, which can hit download speeds 10 to 40 times faster than today’s 4G LTE networks, in “more than 30 U.S. cities” later this year.
The announcement at a meeting with investors came one day after Verizon said it would be the first U.S. carrier to offer customers Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 5G phone. Verizon has previously unveiled a Lenovo Motorola phone that will get an add-on 5G module later this year, as well as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot from Inseego that can catch 5G signals.
Verizon (VZ) didn’t say how much the new 5G mobile service would cost or which cities would get it on what dates. T-Mobile (TMUS) has also said it’s rolling out mobile 5G service in 30 or more as yet unnamed cities later this year, but also said it would not charge a premium for the faster speeds.
AT&T has said its new 5G service is available for use with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot in parts of 12 cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, and New Orleans, with seven more cities coming in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Sprint (S) says its 5G service using a “mobile smart hub” is also coming at a still undisclosed price in the first half of 2019 to nine cities, including Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.
With several years still to go before the carriers can offer 5G coverage nationwide, and only a few phones expected to support 5G this year, Verizon’s lack of specificity may not matter at this stage. Investors and analysts are still unsure how much the carriers will benefit from spending tens of billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to 5G.
In addition to simply speeding up traffic, the new networks should also lower the carriers’ costs to provide bandwidth and enable many new services, like communications for self-driving cars and virtual reality gaming on mobile devices.
Unlike Verizon’s four city, home Internet 5G service, which depends on specialized equipment made just for the company, the new mobile service will be compatible with industry standard 5G gear, Verizon said.
Shares of Verizon, which have gained 21% over the past year, rose 1% on Thursday in midday trading to $56.31.