October 14, 2020
On the same day that Apple unveiled its new 5G iPhones, Verizon announced its own 5G high-speed internet news. The company is expanding its 5G coverage nationwide and says it will be available to more than 200 million people.
"The pandemic has changed the way people think about technology and particularly think about connectivity," Verizon Consumer Group CEO Ronan Dunne told Cheddar. "They understand how important reliable technology is."
Bases for 5G networks are often hyperlocal, down to city blocks. Verizon concentrates its 5G on busy areas like stadiums, but in the pandemic those stadiums are standing empty. Dunne said the capability will expand. "In many respects, the experience we've been launching, and the capabilities that we're delivering in the stadiums, also has the opportunity to transport people from the stadium to get an in-home experience or on-the-go experience that's more immersive as a fan."
Dunne said it was a "massive statement" that Apple decided to include 5G in its new line of iPhones, but the new devices will still come with a significant price tag. Pricing starts at $399 and quickly climbs to more than $1,099, depending on the model and how much storage you want. So if 5G isn't necessarily available everywhere, is it worth the upgrade? According to Dunne, when you're looking for an upgrade, it's about more features than just 5G.
"The latest devices have the best chip sets in them and the best capabilities," he said. "They've also got better battery life, better cameras. So there's great reasons for people to come in and consider whether now is a great time to upgrade."
He did admit you might not need 5G, but the perks can be pretty great. "Think about either returning to a stadium and you being the only one who can upload 4K live streaming from the event to tell your friends or the fact that you can be out and about and still get deep, immersive 360 video available [to you through] the NFL app ."
There are also uses for 5G beyond posting the best Instagram story. Dunne noted that this capability can be used in telemedicine to treat patients, help first responders, and even has uses in education. "We really see the opportunities to stretch the envelope to make sure that this is the most inclusive generation of technology ever."