In the race for becoming the first global operator to launch 5G mobile commercial services, Verizon Wireless has taken the lead by commercially launching its 5G services and officially turning on its 5G ultra wideband network in select areas of Minneapolis and Chicago, a week ahead of its schedule.
Customers can now access Verizon’s commercial 5G network with the world’s first commercially available 5G-enabled smartphone, the moto z3 combined with 5G moto mod in Chicago or Minneapolis and can experience speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
On April 3, 2019, SK Telecom announced that they will launch commercial 5G services in South Korea on April 5, 2019 in 85 cities. The Korean operator has deployed around 34,000 5G base stations in main areas of cities nationwide (Seoul, six metropolitan cities, etc.), university districts, KTX, sports stadiums, expressways, subway lines (Seoul and Seoul Metropolitan Area) and beaches. The company is also expanding in-building coverage centered around 120 department stores, shopping malls and airports throughout the nation.
Not only this, SK Telecom has also kept its 5G services cheaper than 4G services so that probable 5G subscribers get attracted to 5G services tariff.
In Chicago, Verizon’s 5G coverage is concentrated in areas of the West Loop and the South Loop, around landmarks like Union Station, Willis Tower, The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park and The Chicago Theatre whereas in Minneapolis, service is concentrated in the Downtown area, including Downtown West and Downtown East, as well as inside and around U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of this weekend’s NCAA men’s basketball Final Four.
“Verizon customers will be the first in the world to have the power of 5G in their hands,” said Hans Vestberg, chairman and chief executive officer, Verizon.
“This is the latest in our string of 5G firsts. Verizon launched the first commercial broadband 5G service last October, Verizon 5G Home, and now we’re lighting up our 5G Ultra Wideband network in Chicago and Minneapolis, providing the world’s first commercial 5G mobile service with a 5G-enabled smartphone.”
Customers simply snap the 5G moto mod to the back of a compatible Motorola z3 smartphone and experience the power of 5G for just $199.99 ($349.99 retail). Verizon postpaid customers with any Verizon unlimited plan, including Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited plan, get unlimited 5G data for an additional $10 per month (with the first three months of 5G data for free).
Verizon has not talked about its content strategy whereas SK Telecom has talked in detail about its content strategy. SK Telecom is offering around 8,000 titles as it has tied up with multiple content players for gaming, ultra-high definition (UHD), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and communications.
“The AR, VR and cloud games unveiled today only mark the beginning of the age of Hyper-Innovation brought by 5G,” said Park Jung-ho, the Chief Executive Officer, SK Telecom.
“SK Telecom will continue to introduce 5G-based innovative services to lead all areas of New ICT,” added Park Jung-ho.