Testing Verizon's 5G network: A wild goose hunt for mind-blowing data rates

What was it like to use the new Verizon 5G phone on its daily 5G network? Much like to use 4G. In fact, in some cases it didn't seem any different. At 10 o'clock this morning, I trudged through the drizzly cold coffee desperately clutched by hand – to Verinson's showcase on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, to test Verinson's 5G network officially launched in Chicago and Minneapolis on Wednesday. I spent the day all over downtown to speed up Verizon's mmWave 5G technology on Moto Z3 with its 5G Moto Mod attachment, officially Verizon's first 5G phone.

It wasn't & # 39; Not good. I traveled to four 5G-clear locations across the city, hoping to be blown away. A few times I saw theoretical download speeds that kissed 600 megabits per second in the app. But real-world downloads didn't, Moto Z3 flickered between 5G and 4G as a flame and downloads from real world took the same time connected to 5G as it did when I took the Moto Mod off.

I expect some irregularity, some irregular behavior itself ̵[ads1]1; it is completely brand new – I do not expect it to be so large a sink.

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Verizon 5G Speed ​​Test vs 4G


Verizon jumped on the gun by turning on 5G earlier than his April 11 goal, a move that emphasizes his belief that it is acting fast and aggressively in 5G, will give his network, already the largest in the United States, a first-mover advantage. 5G, the next-generation wireless technology, is widely known as a cure for laggy data connections, slow phone downloads. 5G is positioned to revolutionize the industry, increasing data connections 10 to 100 times the current 4G speeds, and enabling a variety of new applications as distance surgery and smart traffic lights talking to each other to keep traffic flowing smoothly.

It's not exactly the 5G we should see today, nor should it be. Carriers such as Verizon and AT & T have long been talking about an expanded rollout plan, which starts in neighborhoods in some major cities, before expanding to parts of other cities – 30 are at Verin's roadmap for 2019. Also faster speeds than Verizon 4G are expected in the onset, but not insanely fast, faster when carriers build their 5G networks over time.

"These crazy speeds to see right now are going to be significantly improved this year," Mike Haberman, Verin's Network Engineer VP, told earlier this morning. "This is just the start."

With "this", Haberman refers to the typical network speeds I'm going to see today using Verizon's 5G, which the network provider calls 5G Ultra Wideband. Verizon says to expect "typical speeds of 450 Mbps, with peak speeds of nearly 1 Gbps, and latency less than 30 milliseconds."

We must also talk about this Moto Z3 for a minute. It is a midrange device that can channel Verin's 5G network through the power of a thin antenna and the internal 5G Moto Mod modem, which is sold separately. Z3 is on sale now at $ 240 (usually $ 480); Moto Mod is also on sale now at $ 200 (usually $ 350) and you need to have a Z3 in your account to buy it. The Verizon 5G service is a $ 10 regular plan prize, but the first three months are free.

Motorola and Verizon have a special (contractual) relationship, but a decade from now when we look back on the first crop of 5G phones, the Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod will not go down in history as Motorola's achievement to create first mobile call 46 years ago .

But it will go down as the first real life view of our inevitable 5G future.

A word on 5G before we begin

5G is not just one thing. There are several approaches. Sub-6. Millimeter wave (mmWave). AT & T has even been accused of (and sued for) " fake 5G ." With this new world of 5G comes a cosmos of new jargon.

For example, Verizon's 5G network uses the 28GHz and 39GHz bands for mm. Include 1GHz bandwidth on average nationally. If that doesn't matter a lot to you, it can help update with our 5G primer .

This is a developing story. Stay updated for more updates on our 5G tests throughout the day.

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