Verizon expanded its 5G Ultra Wideband network to three more cities on Thursday. Now people in New York City, Panama City, Florida, and Boise, Idaho can hook up to the next generation wireless network. This brings the total number of Verizon's 5G-capable cities to 13.
But providing 5G is no easy feat. Verizon's access in the Big Apple is spotty with access only in select parts of Manhattan and the outer boroughs. The company has to physically add wireless cells around the city to provide strong signals for 5G-capable devices.
"We're building a new network, but it's a multi-purpose network as well," Brian Danfield, vice president of Verizon 5G commercialization, told Cheddar.
He says 5G will help users as they try to enjoy high-speed dependent technologies, from gaming to augmented or virtual reality. Verizon also touts that its 5G will let people get content in "near real-time."
So far, Verizon offers seven mobile devices that can access the network. A CNET writer tested it out before today's official announcement and was able to hit download speeds of 1.2 gigabytes-per-second with his Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G in midtown Manhattan.
"For us, being first is about getting the experience and technology to the consumer," says Danfield.
Right now AT&T is leading the way with 5G in 21 cities, but with today's announcement, Verizon is still ahead of Sprint (nine cities) and T-Mobile (six cities). Verizon plans to have 5G up and running in more than 30 cities by the end of this year and Danfield says Salt Lake City and Boston are next. As it enters new markets, Verizon has been focusing on setting up 5G service in hyperlocal and heavily populated areas. Earlier this month the telecom giant teamed up with the NFL to offer 5G in 13 stadiums.