Verizon has dropped its first 5G device, allowing users in some US cities to try out 5G connectivity for the first time, as the company begins rolling out the tech.
The hotspot means Verizon customers can try 5G technology using their iPhone before Apple even introduces a built-in 5G modem, which is expected next year.
Speaking of the launch, a spokesperson for the company said: “Today, Verizon debuted its fifth 5G-enabled device with the launch of the Inseego MiFi® M1000.”
“When connected to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, the device, exclusively available to Verizon customers, provides the large bandwidth and fast download speeds required for applications like 4K/8K video streaming, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR), mobile workforce, industrial IoT and more.”
The other 5G devices that currently work with Verizon include the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which was unveiled earlier in the year.
Apple, on the other hand, is unlikely to release a 5G-capable smartphone until September 2020 at the earliest, following problems with its modem partners as it geared for a 2019 release.
However, by connecting to the new Verizon 5G Hotspot via WiFi, consumers can try out the new network on their iPhones, Macs, and iPads – and speeds are akin to superfast fiber broadband, so most consumers will notice a speed difference.
The new device costs $650 outright, although the company has introduced a new payment plan to pay off the device over two years at $27/month.
Existing customers who sign up for a two-year contract pay just $500 for the hotspot.
Verizon is charging $30 for 50Gb of 5G data for the new hotspot, but only for customers already on an Unlimited smartphone plan.
That’s $10 more than the company charges for a 4G hotspot plan, though cheaper than some expected.
“Verizon consumer customers with an active Unlimited smartphone plan can add a 5G MiFi M1000 to their account and get 50GB of 5G Ultra Wideband data and 15GB of 4G LTE data for $30 a month (plus taxes and fees), an increase of only $10 over 4G LTE service rates,” the company added in a statement.
“Connected device only plans start at $85 a month (plus taxes and fees), again only a $10 increase over 4G LTE service.”
Once users have used up their 50GB data cap, they’ll be throttled to just 3Mbps.
St. Paul, Minneapolis, Denver, Chicago, and Providence are the early cities currently able to enjoy 5G coverage, and the plan is for Verizon to roll out the new technology to more than 30 cities before the end of 2019, with a further roll-out in 2020.
And as Apple and other manufacturers include 5G modems as standard in the coming years, Verizon and other carriers will have to act quickly and provide a 5G signal in all major cities – though no figures or dates have been given just yet.
Are you going to give Verizon’s new 5G hotspot a go, or will you wait until Apple bakes the technology into iPhones?
Let us know on Twitter using @AppleMagazine and check back soon for more news as and when we get it.
The 5G race will no doubt hot up over the year!