Verizon Wireless is the second cellular carrier to offer publicly available 5G mobile service in Houston, though its Ultra Wideband product initially is limited to a handful of locations around the city.
A little more than a year after releasing 5G for home Internet in Houston, Verizon brought mobile 5G to limited areas of the city yesterday.
Boston, Mass., and Sioux Falls, S.D., were the other two cities that received 5G mobile capability Tuesday. These additions mean that 18 cities in the country have access to Verizon mobile 5G, with plans for more than 30 such networks by 2020.
Guillermo Salinas, Verizon’s network performance manager for Houston, told the Houston Chronicle that the company uses a signal called millimeter wave (mmWave) for 5G. In Houston, tests have shown that Verizon 5G can enable a download speed of 1.7 Gbps and an upload speed of up to 100 Mbps. Salinas himself was able to download a two-hour Netflix movie in roughly five seconds on a 5G Android phone.
However, such speeds are currently only possible in more open areas. The Chronicle reports that mmWave can’t consistently penetrate things like buildings and heavy shrubbery. As such, Verizon held a demonstration of its 5G speeds in a parking lot in southwest Houston on Monday.
The company anticipates expanding the network in Houston, as well as improving 5G’s ability to pass through barriers.
According to the Chronicle report, Sprint introduced its 5G mobile service first in Houston. T-Mobile’s 5G network should be available in the city on Dec. 6. AT&T’s 5G service is currently limited to particular businesses in Houston.