St. Paul is the latest of 30 Verizon 5G markets slated to launch this year

Verizon continues to expand its millimeter wave-based mobile 5G network, announcing this week that commercial service is now available in St. Paul. Verizon previously launched in Minneapolis as well as Chicago, Denver and Providence. The carrier plans to activate coverage in parts of 30 cities by the end of the year.

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile US also have commercial 5G services available in some markets. Verizon has been dinged by T-Mo CEO John Legere for not providing detailed coverage maps–Sprint and T-Mo have distributed coverage maps–but Verizon said the St. Paul service is available “in parts of” Downtown, Lowertown and near the Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Fitzgerald Theater, Cathedral Hill Park and the Alexander Ramsey House.

In speed testing of Verizon’s deployments in other cities, users have clocked more than 2 Gbps downlink throughput. On the device side, Verizon is selling the Samsung S10 5G, the Motorola moto z3 and z4 with clip-on 5G “mod,” the LG V50 ThinQ and, as of July 18, Inseego’s MiFi M1000, a mobile hot spot.

Verizon’s Tami Erwin, EVP and group CEO for Verizon Business, characterized the MiFi M1000 as “business ready” and featuring the “enterprise-grade security businesses require.” AT&T went to market with a mobile 5G service using a Netgear hot spot as the launch device. That service is available to select business customers.

Verizon also offers a fixed wireless 5G service for residential broadband that’s currently available in parts of four markets; the carrier has said it will expand the service toward an ultimate goal of 30 million homes later this year. The initial service, including home routers, was based off of the internally-developed Verizon Technical Forum standard while future deployments will use the global 5G New Radio standard developed by the 3GPP.

In addition to the MiFi M1000 mobile hot spot, Inseego also provided home routers for the fixed wireless service.  During Mobile World Congress Barcelona, Inseego Chairman and CEO Dan Mondor said the company is working with around 20 service providers around the world.

“We’re finding some operators want to start off with the mobile hot spot applications as their initial 5G service offerings. Others are starting immediately with fixed wireless. It’s a very powerful solution set and…it’s their ability to compete with predominant broadband providers such as cable companies.”




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