The short: Verizon announced today that it will be launching the world's first commercial 5G service beginning on October 1. It will be available for three cities, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento. 5G Home is a product that Verizon is going to be offering – and it goes up for pre-order this Thursday – which will allow customers to take advantage of this 5G network in those cities. It is built on Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband Network.
Verizon 5G Home is an actual product from Verizon, and those that order early, in those four cities will get the service for free for three months. After that, the service will cost $50 per month for Verizon customers and $70 for non-Verizon customers. 5G Home customers also get YouTube TV for free for the first three months, and a free Apple TV 4K or Google Chromecast Ultra. On top of that, Verizon is also offering some other bonuses for those that sign up. That includes free installation, as well as a free router and router upgrades as they are available beginning in 2019. These customers will also be first to purchase 5G mobile devices, and there is also a 5G dedicated customer service.
Background: Verizon has been touting for many months, if not years, that it would be among the first to launch 5G service in the world. And today, that became a reality. Verizon isn't launching a full 5G network, it's a commercial network that is a fixed network as well, it is the beginning. Verizon is launching commercial 5G as a broadband and TV service, that will be available beginning on October 1. As expected, it is only going to be available in about four cities at launch, but that will change as Verizon is able to roll out this commercial network. Verizon has been testing this network and has had it up and running since late last year. So it should be no surprise that it is already available for customers to use.
The impact: Being the first to deploy a 5G network, even if it is a fixed network, is a big deal. It's going to allow for Verizon to find all the kinks in its network, by opening it up to its customers instead of just employees testing it out, and get it all worked out. That will also help AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, as they can learn from Verizon's mistakes. This also happened with 4G LTE about ten years ago.