Verizon 5G map: Network now live in Chicago and Minneapolis

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Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
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Verizon's 5G network is live in Chicago and Minneapolis. 


A week ahead of schedule, Verizon  on Wednesday turned on its 5G network in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis. CNET went to Chicago to test it with the Moto Z3. To experience 5G, Verizon customers need to have a Motorola Moto Z3 phone with a 5G Moto Mod

The addition, available now, costs about $200 and attaches magnetically to the phone. Customers on Verizon's postpaid or unlimited plans get unlimited 5G for an extra $10 per month. The first three months of 5G are free.

Verizon said customers on its 5G Ultra Wideband network in Chicago and Minneapolis could see speeds between 450 Mbps to 1Gbps and latency connecting to the network less than 30 milliseconds.

"Verizon customers will be the first in the world to have the power of 5G in their hands," said Hans Vestberg, Verizon's chairman and chief executive officer, in the release.

Read: Testing Verizon's 5G network almost made we weep real tears

Watch this: We tested Verizon's new 5G network

For Chicago, the 5G service is concentrated in the West and South Loop areas near landmarks like Union Station, Willis Tower, The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park and The Chicago Theatre. Minneapolis customers' service is concentrated in the downtown area, like Downtown East and West. The service is available near landmarks like the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Minneapolis Central Library, the Mill City Museum, Target Center and First Avenue venues, The Commons, areas of Elliot Park and in the Verizon store in The Mall of America.

Read: Verizon defends its 5G network's rocky start, throws shade at AT&T and T-Mobile

Below is a map showing cities that currently have some 5G coverage:

5G, the next generation of cellular tech, has been touted as the life-changing foundation for tech trends like augmented reality and telemedicine. Virtually every major Android handset maker has talked up plans to launch a 5G device this year. However, coverage will be limited at the start, and those 5G phones likely won't be cheap.

AT&T's 5G network went live in December in a dozen cities. But until 5G phones arrive later this year, it'll only be useful with Netgear's Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, a portable device that creates its own Wi-Fi network so you can link phones, laptops and tablets to the 5G network.

Sprint has said its 5G network will launch in May, and T-Mobile says its full 5G launch will happen in the second half of the year.

Verizon plans to expand its 5G coverage to 30 cities by the end of 2019. 

Originally published April 3, 8:54 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:30 a.m. PT: Adds more background on 5G networks.