When 5G finally arrives later this year, it will do so selectively, allocated to cities prechosen by the major carriers. In the days and months leading up to their respective launches, the major telecoms been telling us which ones.
5G is the successor to “4G,” which smartphones and other devices currently use to access the internet. It promises huge advancements in speed. According to Gizmodo, 5G will be ten times faster than 4G, allowing consumers to download full HD movies in a matter of seconds.
Verizon will likely roll the technology out first. It has announced plans to launch its 5G broadband service on Oct. 1 in four cities — Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston.
Not everyone in those cities will have immediate access to the service, however. The initial launch will be limited to only certain zip codes, which can be found on Verizon’s “First on 5G” website.
AT&T has been less specific about its launch date, saying only that it will begin introducing 5G sometime in 2018.
AT&T previously listed Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Raleigh, Waco, and Oklahoma City as 2018 launch cities. The first group of metropolitan areas to receive 5G in 2019 will be Las Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego.
Sprint says it will connect the following cities to 5G in the first half of 2019: New York, Phoenix, Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angles, and Washington, D.C. Sprint’s entry into the 5G market may depend, however, on its proposed merger with T-Mobile, a merger whose current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) review is in a holding pattern.
The U.S. vs the World
Although first-in-line for the country, these cities may not be the first in the world to experience 5G. According to Forbes, the United States is coming in third place in the 5G race behind China and South Korea. China has been especially aggressive in its 5G development, outspending U.S. companies by $24 billion since 2015.
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