Verizon said today that its long awaited 5G fixed wireless service, dubbed Verizon 5G Home, will go live October 1 in parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento. The offering will support “typical network speeds around 300 Mbps” and up to a gigabit per second peak speed, depending on location, the company said.
The cost will be $50 for customers who have a qualifying Verizon Wireless service or $70 a month for non-Verizon Wireless customers. The company will begin taking orders on Thursday.
Verizon 5G Home customers will get a free Apple TV 4K or Google Chromecast Ultra device at the time of installation. In addition, they will get YouTube TV free for the first three months, with the price increasing to $40 a month thereafter. Verizon previewed its Apple TV and YouTube TV plans for the fixed 5G offering last month but did not provide details.
Verizon 5G Home
Equipment supporting industrywide 5G standards is not yet commercially available, but Verizon created a proprietary standard, dubbed 5G TF, to support its initial launch. The company said it will upgrade customers using 5G TF to the official standards at no charge at a future date and also will expand to new markets when equipment supporting those standards is available. That equipment is expected next year.
Equipment availability also figured prominently in Verizon’s decision to initially launch fixed, rather than mobile 5G service. The company plans to launch mobile 5G service next year when mobile devices are available to support it. In addition, company executives have said that the market for fixed 5G could include as many as 30 million homes outside markets that the company services with FiOS fiber-to-the-home service.
In today’s press release about Verizon 5G Home, the company also announced two other marketing terms –First On 5G and Verizon Ultra Wideband 5G.
First On 5G is something Verizon is referring to as a membership program that potential customers can sign up for online in order to receive updates about when Verizon 5G Home is coming to their area and when Verizon 5G mobile service launches.
The Ultra Wideband 5G name will denote service operating in the millimeter wave spectrum band, including Verizon 5G Home. Verizon called that band “the only spectrum with the bandwidth to realize the full 5G potential for capacity, throughput and latency.”
“To deliver the full potential of 5G, a wireless network provider must have three fundamental assets: deep fiber resources, a large deployment of small cells and critical spectrum holdings,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon chief technology officer, in the press release. “That’s Ultra Wideband.”
Verizon soon will have company in the 5G market, as AT&T plans to launch mobile 5G service (based on a hotspot rather than a smartphone) before year-end. T-Mobile and Sprint also are expected to launch mobile service when smartphones become available. Of the big four wireless carriers, only AT&T and Verizon have said they will use millimeter wave spectrum for their initial launches.