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Verizon 5G: Price, Availability & More – Updated October 2021

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5G has been a pretty big buzz word for a few years now, and you can actually use 5G these days. Well sort of. It’s still not completely built out around the country, but Verizon does have a nationwide 5G footprint.

And as we noted in our “What is 5G” post, there are a few layers to 5G. Which includes a low-band network which is what is nationwide. And then there is mmWave, which is the ultra high-band network that offers the crazy gigabit speeds that you’ve seen in YouTube videos. Combining those two together, will give users great speed and great coverage.

We all know that Verizon has 5G, if you’ve watched any TV or YouTube in the past year, you’ve seen countless commercials about it. But how much does it cost you? Where is it available? And is it worth upgrading to a 5G phone right now? We’ll aim to answer those questions and much more here, in this everything you need to know.

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Does my area have 5G?

Most likely.

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Verizon 5G Coverage Map

Verizon’s 5G network covers around 230 million customers in over 2,700 cities. Which covers the majority of the US. But let’s keep in mind that Verizon does have 5G and then 5G Ultra Wideband (which is their mmWave network). The latter doesn’t cover as many Americans, and you won’t find out indoors either. So do keep that in mind here.

As always, you can check out Verizon’s coverage map by clicking here.

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As you can see in the map above, there are a small number of 5G Ultra Wideband networks, across the country, mostly consisting of larger cities like Seattle, New York City, Albuquerque, Detroit, Denver and a number of others.

5G vs 5G Ultra Wideband

As we have covered before, there is a difference in the two flavors of 5G that Verizon offers. 5G is essentially using the same spectrum as the current 4G LTE network. Which is why if you have 5G in your area, you are likely seeing speeds similar to 4G LTE. That’s not unique to Verizon either, it’s the same case for AT&T and T-Mobile as well.

However, with 5G Ultra Wideband, you’re going to see much faster speeds. We’ve done some testing and have gotten over 2Gbps on Verizon on the UWB network. It uses mmWave which is ultra high-band spectrum, offering crazy speeds, but pretty terrible coverage. The way coverage works is, the lower band spectrum offers better coverage but slower speeds, and higher-band is better speed but less coverage. Which is why most carriers are combining these two together, for 5G.

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Additionally, if you are inside, you won’t get access to 5G Ultra Wideband. That is because the coverage is pretty weak, and can’t penetrate through buildings. Heck, if there’s a tree in the way, you will get knocked off of the 5G UWB network, or if the wind is to strong. Which is pretty funny since many people seem to think it can cause cancer. But that’s a rant for another time.

In the future, Verizon will be combining the 5G and 5G UWB networks together, so you will get these gigabit speeds indoors, and virtually anywhere. But that will take a few years, likely around 2025.

5G Ultra Wideband is available in these cities

As mentioned,  5G Ultra Wideband is available in a number of cities already, here’s the full list:

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  • Akron, OH
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Anaheim, CA
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Arlington, TX
  • Athens, GA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Boise, ID
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Columbia, SC
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Dayton, OH
  • Denver, CO
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Durham, NC
  • El Paso, TX
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Fremont, CA
  • Fresno, CA
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Hampton Roads, VA
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Hartford, CT
  • Hoboken, NJ
  • Houston, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Jersey City, NJ
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Louisville, KY
  • Memphis, TN
  • Miami, FL
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Omaha, NE
  • Orlando, FL (Sept 9)
  • Panama City, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Providence, RI
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Richmond, VA
  • Riverside, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Scranton, PA
  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • Spokane, WA
  • St. Louis, MO
  • St. Paul, MN
  • St. Petersburg, FL
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Tucson, AZ,
  • Washington D.C.

Can I use 5G as my home internet?

We would recommend against using 5G as your ISP provider, unless you get Verizon 5G Home. And that is because the faster speeds are virtually impossible to get indoors, as we have outlined already. Which means you won’t be getting great speeds.

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Verizon 5G Home Products

However, there is Verizon 5G Home. Which is Verizon’s home internet service, that runs on a fixed 5G network. It costs $50 per month for existing Verizon Wireless customers, and $70 for those that are not. Which makes this very competitive with other ISPs out there like Cox, Comcast, AT&T and even Verizon Fiber.

These are the cities where Verizon 5G Home is available right now:

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  • Birmingham, AL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Fremont, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Orange County, CA
  • Riverside, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Hartford, CT
  • Miami, FL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Pensacola, FL
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Louisville, KY
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Saint Paul, MN
  • Kansas City, MO
  • St Louis, MO
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Omaha, NE
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Cincinatti, OH
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Columbus, OH
  • Scranton, PA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Arlington, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Seattle, WA
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Milwaukee, WI

How fast can 5G be, on Verizon?

Speeds on Verizon’s 5G network can vary drastically. On its nationwide 5G network, using Sub-6, you’ll get around 100Mbps to 300Mbps, depending on the area. Which doesn’t sound all that impressive, nor is it what Verizon and other carriers have been promising with 5G.

The speeds come from the mmWave network. We have done speed tests where we have gotten 1.8Gbps up to about 2.5Gbps. Now yes, that is pretty insane on a smartphone, and probably overkill for most people, but it is going to be incredible to download games, or seasons on Netflix, etc. Once mmWave is rolled out everywhere with Sub-6, you should consistently get over a gigabit of speed, even while indoors. But that will take a few years.

Why do I need 5G speeds?

Most people see 5G speed tests and wonder “Why do I need that much speed on a phone?” Well, the question you should be asking is “Why not?”. 5G is mostly about speed, but more about latency. And with carriers expanding beyond smartphones, the latency is going to be important for things like VR and autonomous driving. As they will be able to stream virtual reality, or give directions to your self-driving car instantly.

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Don’t forget that we asked these same questions with 4G LTE, and said that 3G was “fast enough”. Well, we now know that is definitely not true. Seeing as 3G topped out at around 5Mbps (or around 42Mbps if you were on T-Mobile with HSPA+). Imagine trying to watch YouTube at 5Mbps these days? Yeah, it wouldn’t be fun.

As the internet evolves, we need faster speeds, and that’s why 5G matters. While getting a gigabit of speed is a bit insane right now, it won’t be in the next 5-10 years as things evolve and take advantage of this speed. The biggest use-case for it right now is of course downloading Netflix movies and TV shows in seconds. And we do mean seconds.

Let’s just hope that carriers don’t go back to data caps, and keep unlimited data. Otherwise, you’ll blow through that cap in no time.

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What phones support 5G on Verizon?

Pretty much every phone that Verizon sells right now is 5G capable and will support both 5G and 5G Ultra Wideband. So any phone you buy from Verizon will work on its 5G network, and there’s nothing to worry about there.

The issues come with unlocked phones. A good number of unlocked phones do not support mmWave or Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. And that’s because Verizon is virtually the only carrier using mmWave right now (that will change in the coming months and years though). So if you do buy an unlocked 5G phone to use on Verizon, make sure that it has UWB, or you won’t get the lightning fast speeds from Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.

It will still work on Verizon’s network, you just won’t get those crazy insane speeds that everyone posts about. The Google Pixel 5 supports UWB, as well as the Galaxy S21 series, and a number of other phones, which you can buy elsewhere.

Should I upgrade to get 5G now?

Our recommendation is no. Verizon’s nationwide 5G network is not that much faster than its 4G LTE network, and in some areas it is actually slower. And since you can only really use the 5G Ultra Wideband network while outside, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to upgrade solely for 5G.

Having said that, if you are upgrading, you might as well get a 5G phone. Especially if you are planning to keep it for a few years. But don’t let 5G be the sole reason why you upgrade to a new phone. It’s just not worth it right now. That will of course change in the future, as Verizon continues to build out its 5G network.

What Verizon plans support 5G?

All of Verizon’s plans do come with 5G connectivity included. However, the entry-level plan – Start Unlimited – does not include 5G Ultra Wideband. But you can access it for $10 more per month. And at that point, you might as well upgrade to the Play More or Do More Unlimited plan, that is $10 more and includes 5G Ultra Wideband connectivity at no extra charge.

You’ll also note that the Just Kids plan doesn’t have 5G UWB connectivity at all. Which is because it is a smaller plan, hence the $35 price tag, if you get four lines. Since speeds are capped at 5Mbps.

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Verizon 5G Unlimited Plans

The best plan for 5G on Verizon is going to be the Play More or Get More Unlimited plan. Unless you’d rather have Verizon Cloud Storage included, and plan to add Connected devices like smartwatches and tablets to your account. Play More and Get More Unlimited plans get the Disney+ bundle included (that’s Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+), as well as Discovery+ for 12 months. The Get More Unlimited plan gets you Apple Music included, as well as 50% off unlimited connected device plans and 600GB of Verizon Cloud Storage.

It’s also important to note here that you will need to “upgrade” your plan if you upgrade from a 4G LTE phone to a 5G phone. Even though the plan is essentially the same as far as perks and price, it’s only adding 5G to your plan. A bit strange that you have to physically upgrade your plan on Verizon’s website when you upgrade your phone, but it’s pretty simple. So if you upgrade to a 5G phone and wonder why you’re not getting 5G on Verizon, that is most likely why.

Is Verizon 5G worth it in 2021?

Not really. For the most part, it’s still pretty slow right now. As we have mentioned before, Verizon 5G nationwide is about the same speed as its 4G LTE network. Which will use less juice on your phone. In fact, even Verizon tells you to turn off 5G on your phone to conserve battery.

The important thing here is that you’ll want to make sure that Verizon has 5G in your area before making the jump to 5G. And if you can hold off on upgrading your phone for another year, we’d recommend waiting. The reason for this is, 5G networks and modems are going to continue to get better, and not drain your battery as quickly. Currently, we are only on the fourth-generation of 5G modems, so they are still pretty power hungry, especially when using mmWave 5G. Wait for things to mature, then upgrade, if you are able too.

Of course, if you have to upgrade right now, you’re going to end up with a 5G phone on Verizon. It’s not that Verizon’s 5G network is bad, it’s just mostly the same as 4G LTE right now.