What are the 5G Network Companies?

What is 5G Search on Verizon Phone

5G is the fifth generation in wireless technology and is hailed as the bringer of the fourth industrial revolution by many in the tech industry. 5G is hitting the scene in a big way with the highest wireless internet speeds we’ve ever seen, in addition to a crazy-low latency that will power new world of services and applications through interconnected devices. 

5G slowly began to creep its way into small, beta test cities in 2018 and 2019, but 2020 is the year you can expect to see 5G rollout in a major way. All industry players from device manufacturers to wireless carriers are working overtime to get their products and networks ready for the big 5G red carpet rollout in 2020. It will be a slow and steady process and likely to take a few years for mass coverage, but it’s an exciting time to see something this big hitting the markets. Curious which carriers will have 5G networks? Let’s review who the 5G network companies are. 

Verizon 

Verizon’s Ultra-Wideband (UWB) 5G network is currently available in 13 cities with plans to be live in 30 cities by the end of 2019, and even more in 2020! Only some parts of the cities will have 5G coverage, so don’t expect to see city-wide 5G speeds just yet. For a full list of Verizon 5G locations click here. 

Cities with Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband coverage are:

  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Indianapolis
  • Minneapolis
  • Providence
  • St. Paul,
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Phoenix
  • New York City
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Panama City

Cities that will get Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband in 2019 are: 

  • Boston
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Dallas
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Little Rock
  • Memphis
  • San Diego
  • Salt Lake City

Verizon’s 5G network will utilize a mmWave technology that will access a higher frequency band above 28GHz and 39 GHz. Verizon plans to utilize the high-band spectrum for their 5G networks, but that will require a mass buildout of small cells (mini cell towers) across various locations for mass 5G coverage and penetration. This will be an effective way to deploy 5G in metro areas but will need a different strategy for suburban and rural areas. For the next several years, Verizon’s 5G service will piggyback off its existing 4G network using the low and medium-band spectrum. 

If you’re in a city with Verizon 5G coverage, you’ll need a 5G capable device to access the Ultra-Wideband network. It’s an extra $10 a month to use, but Verizon is waving that fee for new subscribers. You can expect to see download speeds of 450 Mbps with peak speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Verizon does have a few 5G phones and hotspot available for purchase now:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note10 + 5G ($1,299.99)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G ($1,299.99)
  • LG V50 ThinQ™ 5G ($999.99)
  • Motorola moto z4 with 5G moto mod ($599.99)

If you’re interested in making your home 5G capable, you can purchase Verizon 5G Home for free for three months, and then $70 a month after that. You can expect to see speeds up to 1 Gbps! Streaming, gaming, video chat- anything will work seamlessly. This service is currently available in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento with more areas coming. 

AT&T 

AT&T’s 5G network is currently available in 21 cities with plans to launch in many more by the end of 2020. Like Verizon, only some parts of these cities have 5G coverage, rather than the whole city itself. 

If you’re a current AT&T customer and have seen “5GE” displayed on your phone, that does not mean you have 5G on your phone. 5GE stands for “5G Evolution” and is simply a fancy name for AT&T’s 4G LTE Enhanced network. 

Cities with AT&T 5G coverage are: 

  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Jacksonville
  • Orlando
  • Atlanta
  • Indianapolis
  • Louisville
  • New Orleans
  • Charlotte
  • Raleigh
  • Las Vegas
  • New York City
  • Oklahoma City
  • Nashville
  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • San Antonio
  • Waco 

Cities that will soon get AT&T 5G are: 

  • Chicago 
  • Cleveland 
  • Minneapolis 

AT&T will use mmWave technology that uses the high-band spectrum above 24 GHz in addition to low and medium band spectrum frequencies. AT&T will also need to build out small cells to utilize the high-band spectrum and will use their existing fiber network as the backbone to their entire 5G network. 

If you’re in a city with AT&T 5G coverage, you’ll need an AT&T 5G capable device to utilize it! The only 5G capable phone currently available on AT&T is the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and it’s only available for business customers, in addition to one hotspot device. There’s not a whole lot of information when it comes to AT&T’s 5G rollout for consumers, but here’s what we know about pricing for those eligible customers who are lucky enough to use it: 

  • $499 for the 5G mobile hotspot device
  • $70 a month for 15GB of data 

Sprint and T-Mobile 

As of October 2019, the FCC has approved the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile to build out a competitive 5G network. Like any massive merger of two wireless powerhouses, there’s still a fair amount that needs to happen before the merger is completed. Each company is still going to work towards building out their 5G networks. 

Both Sprint and T-Mobile are rolling out 5G services differently than their competitors. Sprint is going to use the mid-band spectrum with frequencies of 2.5 GHz, which also currently supports their 4G LTE service. T-Mobile similarly is going to use the 600 MHz spectrum. Since both companies are going to use their existing cell towers for their 5G networks, their rollout will be a lot faster than AT&T and Verizon. 

Initially their 5G networks won’t be as fast as the others, but they’ll still deliver improved speeds and lower latency to their customers. Both Sprint and T-Mobile have plans to build on the 28 GHz mmWave spectrum and existing 2.1 GHz spectrum, that will make them competitive with AT&T and Verizon. 

Cities with T-Mobile 5G coverage: 

  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas
  • Dallas
  • Cleveland
  • Atlanta

Cities with Sprint 5G Coverage:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas Fort-Worth
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Kansas City
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Phoenix
  • Washington D.C. 

Like the other carriers, you’ll need a 5G capable device to utilize either Sprint or T-Mobile’s 5G network. 

Sprint 5G Phones and Hotspot: 

  • LG V50 ThinQ ($999.99)
  • HTC 5G Hub ($600.00)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G ($1,299.99)
  • OnePlus 7 Pro ($840.00)

Sprint’s data plans will be $80 a month on the Unlimited Premium plan, with an additional line at $60 a month, and any line after that is $20 a month. If you decide that you want to use the HTC 5G Hub, it’s 100 GB of data for $60 a month and your speeds will slow to 2G speeds after 100 GB. You can expect to see average download speeds of 203.8 Mbps on Sprint’s 5G network, compared to their average LTE speed of 35.2 Mbps. 

T-Mobile 5G Phone: 

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G ($1,099.99) 
  • OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition (Expected to release late 2019, no pricing available)

T-Mobile’s 5G data plans won’t cost more than their current unlimited data plans. Their T-Mobile One unlimited data plan is $70 a month excluding taxes and fees. 

DISH Network

When Sprint and T-Mobile merged, it opened the market for a new wireless competitor, DISH Network. DISH will acquire Sprint’s prepaid wireless business that includes Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. DISH has earmarked a $10 billion investment to build out their 5G network and is not waiting for Sprint and T-Mobile’s merger to finalize before getting to work. DISH has spent the last 10 years acquiring space on the spectrum, and owns about 100 MHz around the U.S., which is about as much as Verizon owns. 

DISH will utilize the 20,000 towers that T-Mobile and Sprint plan to decommission during their merger, as part of their 5G network infrastructure. DISH must have a 5G capable network with the ability to serve 70% of their customers by 2023 or face a hefty $2 billion fine. 

There has been no release of information of locations, pricing or devices available yet for DISH 5G network.  

It’s clear that each carrier has big plans for their 5G networks and that regardless of who your preferred carrier is, you’ll experience improved speeds and an ultra-low latency that will be even better than the 4G LTE you currently use.