Verizon is one step closer to realizing its goal of having 5G service available in more than 30 US cities by the end of the year.
The nation’s largest wireless provider said it has flipped the 5G switch in Los Angeles, California. Now, you’ll be able to tap into Verizon’s speedy network in select areas of the city. The new network is available in parts of Downtown, Chinatown, Del Rey, and Venice around landmarks such as Grand Park, Los Angeles Convention Center, Union Station, LA Live, Staples Center, and Venice Beach Boardwalk. Verizon says it will release its coverage maps for the area on December 20.
If you’re wondering why Verizon’s 5G is available in such limited areas, it’s because of mmWave technology. Verizon uses what it calls Ultra Wideband, with wave frequencies upwards of 20GHz. This allows the network to be incredibly fast compared to what you’re used to with LTE, but high-frequency waves have a very short range and are easily blocked by obstacles as small as tree leaves. This means that expanding this network is a lengthy process.
Other cities in line to get 5G before 2020 include Little Rock, Memphis, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Des Moines. It has already launched in major metropolitan regions such as Boston, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, Phoenix and New York Cities.