5G, the next generation of ultra-fast wireless, is now available in the US. But the catch is you’ll need to be in the right city with the right device to access it.
The technology has been touted as a major breakthrough that will allow for better video streaming and more technical advancements such as connecting self-driving cars.
The US has made some solid ground catching up to China’s existing 5G presence. In fact, a recent report published by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), which represents the US wireless communications industry, found the US and China are now tied for first place in 5G readiness.
But analysts don’t expect to see widespread adoption in the US until around 2020.
Here’s where you can get it now from Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile and Sprint, which are set to merge, also have plans for 5G networks, but those likely won’t roll out until 2020.
Last week, Verizon launched the first 5G-enabled phone that can be used on a 5G network in select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis.
In Chicago, mobile 5G coverage is concentrated in areas such as the West Loop and South Loop and around landmarks such as Union Station, Willis Tower and Millennium Park. In Minneapolis, 5G is available downtown and in areas such as US Bank Stadium.
But you’ll need the moto z3 phone and a special 5G moto mod attachment, which looks like a small battery pack, to access it.
The good news is its mobile 5G network is expected to expand to over 30 cities by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Verizon’s 5G home service, which works like broadband internet, is already available in select parts of these cities with a 5G router:
- Los Angeles
- Sacramento, Calif.
AT&T, which owns CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia, launched its 5G network in several cities in late 2018. But for now it’s only accessible via a Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot — not a 5G-enabled phone.
To access some of the benefits of 5G, visitors or residents of these cities will need to connect their Wi-Fi devices to the hotspot:
- Austin, Texas
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- Los Angeles
- Louisville, Ky.
- Nashville, Tenn.
- New Orleans
- Oklahoma City
- Orlando, Fla.
- Raleigh, N.C.
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose, Calif.
- Waco, Texas
As 5G coverage grows, the technology will also improve.
Verizon is set to be the first US carrier to get the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, a smartphone that won’t require an attachment to access 5G. It’s expected to hit stores later this spring in the US.