Verizon announced this week that on October 1—which is Thursday—they will bring 5G home Internet to a new market, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. They also announced the arrival of a new router meant to work with the technology.
The addition brings the 5G home service to a seventh market, joining Sacramento, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, and Detroit.
The 5G Home Internet costs $50 per month for Verizon customers and $70 per month for non-Verizon customers. Those signing up will get free YouTube TV for one month and Disney+ for one year, along with a free Stream TV device.
The new deployment coincides with the arrival of a new product, the 5G Internet Gateway, which is described by the company as “a first-to-market MMwave 5G CPE/Router,” which allows for speeds up to 1 Gbps.
“Verizon’s new 5G Internet Gateway is a game-changer for our customers,” Frank Boulben, SVP Consumer Marketing and Products at Verizon, said in the announcement of the new product. “With people spending more time at home during these challenging times, the expansion of 5G Home Internet to new markets with new and improved hardware will provide customers with the flexibility and reliability to enjoy more digital experiences and increased productivity from the comfort of their home.”
When 5G Home Internet was launched, Verizon said that “the first 5G wireless network built to connect your home with ultra-fast internet that’s ready for what comes next. With 5G Home Internet, there are no long-term contracts or additional equipment or installation fees and all taxes and fees are included.”
As for whether home 5G will ever replace Wi-Fi, the consensus among experts is either “no,” or “not yet.”
“While it’s certainly possible that 5G can replace WiFi, there’s a good chance that it won’t,” ActionTec wrote in a 2019 blog post. “5G has too many limitations—like capacity and coverage issues. Plus, 5G and WiFi are better as complements rather that competition.”
Of the 4.1 million 5G-capable phones that had been sold as of mid-July, Verizon was in first place with 2.2 million, followed by AT&T at 629,000, T-Mobile at 501,000 and Sprint at 483,000. Sprint and T-Mobile have since merged, and their combined subscriber total would be second to that of Verizon.
However, the 5G smartphone market is changing by the month, with the arrival of new phones all the time. The Google Pixel 5 was announced this week, and the first 5G-capable iPhones are expected next month.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.