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Early tests show Verizon’s new 5G network is insanely fast

Published Apr 5th, 2019 11:58AM EDT
Verizon 5G Speed Test
Image: Mauritz Antin/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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Remember how painstakingly slow the arrival of 4G LTE support felt a few years ago? Well, get ready to experience the same feeling as you wait for your carrier to roll out 5G in your area. Just like a few years ago, carriers around the world will gradually expand their new networks, starting with the busiest areas. If you’re not in one of the major cities or locations that are going to be part of the first wave of the 5G rollout, you’re surely going to envy the lucky few who get to use it. Take Verizon’s first 5G markets, including Chicago and Minneapolis, where you can already take advantage of the next-gen network. And early speed tests will tell you that you indeed have every reason to be jealous.

It’ll be several years until we get the 5G speeds we really want, but the early tests aren’t bad either, as they show that 5G is a lot faster than LTE in regular conditions. Verizon spokesman David Veissmann posted the following clip on Twitter, showing 5G speeds of up to 760Mbps registered in Minneapolis. Needless to say, that’s pretty impressive.

CNET tested Verizon’s 5G network in Chicago and saw real network speeds of over 516Mbps. Again, this isn’t the maximum theoretical speed for 5G, but the following video will show you how incredibly fast 5G can be, at least when it comes to download speeds compared to 4G.

As the video shows, 5G connectivity is still spotty and that’s only to be expected this early on. That means you might run in and out of 5G depending on where you are in the city, in which case you’re going to fall back to 4G. Engadget’s Chris Velazco also ran a 5G test in Chicago using the same Moto Z3 with a 5G Moto Mod attached to the phone on the bottom. Speeds went all the way up to nearly 600Mbps, which is almost four times faster than 4G LTE.

Velazco also mentioned in subsequent tweets that the connection is “very finicky,” but he did manage to download the 1.81GB PUBG app in 4.5 minutes.

If you live in Chicago or Minneapolis, the only way to get on 5G is to buy Verizon’s only compatible phone. You guessed it, that’s the Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod. Or, you can wait a few more weeks to purchase Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G, which will be released soon.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.