Verizon Wireless customers in Minneapolis and Chicago on Wednesday will have access to the carrier’s new fifth-generation wireless network, a week ahead of its scheduled launch.
Interested consumers will need to purchase a 5G moto mod to attach to the Motorola moto Z3 in order to access the network. The service will cost an additional $10 per month, the New York-based carrier said previously.
“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,” CEO Hans Vestberg touted in a statement.
The company plans to expand the offering, which promises broadband speeds without a hard-wired connection, to more than 30 cities in 2019.
Wireless providers are rushing to establish 5G networks, creating a bitter rivalry between top U.S. carriers. Sprint, for example, previously sued AT&T over its “5G Evolution” offering, which is actually the same 4G LTE technology used by most companies.
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AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile also plan to launch 5G services this year.
T-Mobile and Sprint have made the 5G race between the U.S. and China a foundation of their pitch to the federal government as its reviews the $26.5 billion merger between the third and fourth largest domestic carriers, respectively.