Verizon was in a rush to launch 5G last year, as it wanted to be first. Well it was, technically first. But there were a whole lot of catches with its 5G network. For one, it was a fixed network, meaning that it only worked inside your home. As soon as you left to go get the mail, you dropped back to 4G LTE at your mailbox. Now, we're starting to see just how limited the coverage was for its Fixed 5G Network.
PCMag was able to snag the internal maps for Verizon's 5G Home service for each of the markets that it is currently available in. This includes Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Mostly western cities, but it turns out, Verizon was only launching 5G in a few neighborhoods in those cities, as you can tell by the maps in the gallery below.
When a carrier launches 5G in a city, most customers expect it to be available throughout the city, not just in a specific neighborhood of that community. For instance, if you're in New York City, you would expect 5G to cover all five Burroughs. Not just Jamaica, Queens. That is not really offering 5G in New York City. That's what Verizon has done here. It essentially launched 5G in a large enough area that it could say it is available in that city.
Though this might not be an issue, seeing as there is really only one device that customers can use from Verizon that gets you 5G service. Verizon 5G Home costs you $70 per month or $50 per month if you are a customer. And it is in addition to your wireless service. So it's not exactly cheap. Verizon does offer the first three months for free, and it's not hard to see why.
5G is looking to be pretty expensive, from Verizon, at least for now. It will drop in price as it is rolled out in more cities, and more customers are actually using it. But for now, it's much more expensive than 4G LTE, and it's not all that much faster. With speeds topping out at around 300Mbps, that is nowhere near where 5G is expected to be. It is expected to have speeds of at least 1Gbps – and that's on a bad day.
However, it makes sense that Verizon wouldn't want to publish these maps, to show customers the coverage of its 5G service. It's pretty embarrassing. To be covering only a couple of zip codes of these relatively large cities, that's not a good thing. We've always known that carriers do often lie on their coverage maps, but this takes it to a new level. And that's not a good level.
This is just its fixed 5G network though. Which is the first level of its 5G network and it plans to merge its fixed and mobile networks into a single network. By using Fiber, Verizon is hoping to get even better coverage as well as faster speeds on 5G. Which will likely happen, but it won't be anytime soon.