Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Moving Forward With 5G Service

At a J.P. Morgan investment conference, Verizon chief executive Hans Vestberg revealed that the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is performing at 1.5 Gigabits per second. The caveat is that, per Ookla Speedtest, the company is “tightly curating” the test for reviewers, including a testing site outside of Motorola’s offices and other locations adjacent to its 5G hardware. Meanwhile, Sprint stated that it will turn on 5G in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City on May 31; it opened up preorders for 5G devices on May 17. And AT&T is offering 5G to business customers in 19 cities.

VentureBeat reports that, with regard to Verizon’s 5G service, “photographs posted on Twitter are showing download speeds in the 1Gbps range, sometimes higher, sometimes lower, though all are within areas hand-picked by the carrier to demonstrate the phone’s capabilities.”

Verizon’s current 5G coverage is available in small parts of Chicago and Minneapolis. “Once the phones are removed from those areas, they drop from 5G speeds down to 4G,” says VB.

AT&T, described as Verizon’s chief rival, stated that its Nighthawk 5G personal hotspot reached a 2Gbps peak 5G speed, “though again, actual customers will have a hard time actually seeing this for themselves.” The company said it offers 5G service “to select business customers in 19 cities, but hasn’t yet commenced general 5G service or device sales to consumers.”

Elsewhere, VB reports that the LG V50 ThinQ 5G smartphone and the HTC 5G Hub are the 5G devices Sprint will make available. The LG V50, a less expensive alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, was unveiled in South Korea, “where it reportedly sold 100,000 units in its launch weekend.” The V50 was priced at $1,115 MSRP in South Korea and is on offer from Sprint for $1,152.

Sprint will make the LG V50 available for $24 per month with no down payment, equaling $576 over 24 months, “a discount of 50 percent,” notes VB. The HTC 5G Hub hotspot will cost $12.50 per month for 24 months, half its $600 price. In fine print, Sprint states that, “hotspot access will drop to 3G speeds after 100GB of usage.”

After its initial May 31 launch, Sprint plans to add Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington DC to its 5G network. Sprint requires 5G customers to sign up for its Unlimited Premium plan, priced at $80 per month, “slightly under Verizon’s most affordable unlimited 5G plan.” Sprint’s plan will, for one user, include Hulu, Amazon Prime, Twitch Prime, Tidal HiFi, and 100GB of LTE hotspot access, and a second user can add a line for an additional $60. Sprint is also selling a less expensive 5G Hub hotspot plan: 100GB of “high-speed data” for $60 per month that will drop to 2G speeds after 100GB of usage.