As we enter the final weeks before 5G begins rolling out, albeit extremely sparingly, across the United States, Verizon today has announced it will launch a true 5G NR consumer hotspot in 2019. Details are sparse at this point, but Verizon is offering up some info.
While Verizon already touts “5G” in marketing material for their 5G home internet service, the network standard being used doesn’t align with the unanimously agreed upon industry standard, 5G NR. The company came under criticism from T-Mobile CEO John Legere on Twitter for its harsh 5G home requirements, such as needing to specify which floor and room you’d like your 5G service to be in. This is due to the limited signal availability, along with the fact that typical 5G signals, while being significantly faster than 4G, tend to be weaker in wall penetration and more vulnerable to interference.
Here’s what Legere tweeted back in October:
Verizon says,“there’s 5G & then there’s @Verizon 5G*” – What they mean is Verizon 5G* is available… in tiny pockets of neighborhoods… if you don’t have 🌲s nearby… or appliances in your house… or walls… just 👀 at the #VerizonFAQ… 😂 pic.twitter.com/s4TJIiPtwJ
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 1, 2018
The Verizon 5G ‘puck’ is being demonstrated this week at a joint event with Qualcomm and AT&T in Maui, Hawaii. Interestingly, this is also one of the first locations in the US where real 5G NR service will go live.
Verizon says that the 5G NR network will launch in “early 2019 and expand rapidly”, and this hotspot, which is yet to be named or have a specific release date or price tag, will be one of the first ways to experience the future wireless network.
With the news of Apple skipping 5G in 2019 until at least the 2020 iPhone, this puck will probably be one of the few, if not only way, to experience 5G speeds on the go next year.
Are you interested in 5G enough to buy this hotspot, or will you be waiting for the high-speed network to be built into your next phone?