Amid its controversies with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this week, Verizon despite shifting the rollout of its C-band 5G spectrum for another two weeks, the telecom carrier is still pushing to reach a big milestone this year.
The company unveiled on Tuesday its updated 5G plan which includes tweaked plans for wireless and home internet users while revealing its intention of covering about 100 million people or even more in some 1,700 cities with speedy connections this month.
The plan was previously said to be achieved by March via its new sets of radio airwaves called C-band.
The company has however invested about US$50 billion in order to acquire valuable wireless airwaves this previous year in order to improve on its 5G network across the country.
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Some of the large cities Verizon planned to cover with its C-band include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Miami.
While Verizon is certainly among the proponents of 5G since way back, its millimeter-wave connections have been limited to certain blocks in select cities or even in parts of certain airports, arenas, or stadiums.
However, low-band 5G networks which are often referred to as 5G nationwide performs in the same range as 4G LTE.
But then there is the C-band which is a boost to the speed and coverage at the same time.
The C-band is also known as midband as it sits between the two 5G bands spectrums.
In fact, Verizon said when it rolls out the new C-band network later this month, it will be capable of download speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.
Even with that, users will certainly require to have a 5G-compatible smartphone while also subscribing to the carrier’s pricier unlimited plans which may include the currently available Pay More, Do More, or Get More options while other options could be applicable.
At launch, compatible devices will include Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lines and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 line, Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 as well as 5G iPads.
As for smartphones from other brands such as Google’s Pixel 5 and 6, Verizon said they would require to get a software update first for C-band 5G even though it’s yet to provide a timeline for when it plans to roll out the updates.
If you are on other Verizon plans, such as its Start Unlimited offering, you will not be able to tap into the faster 5G networks even if you have a compatible device.
Better plans for homes and businesses
Apart from rolling out a new network this month, the telecom giant is also said to be making a couple of tweaks to its existing wireless plans today Jan. 5th even though the pricing may not necessarily change.
Hotspot data is being bumped up across the board, with Play More and Do More now getting 25GB of high-speed data (up from 15GB) and the Get More plan now including 50GB of high-speed data (up from 30GB).
And as for Play More and Get More plans, they now include services such as Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass while those with business-focused Do More or Get More plans will also get a one-day free-roaming per month when traveling internationally in one of more than 185 countries.
Get More will also no longer have a data cap for how much high-speed data you can use in a month from your phone, following the likes of top plans such as T-Mobile’s Magenta Max and AT&T’s Unlimited Elite.
Later this month, Verizon said it will automatically add the new perks and hotspot increase to existing Do More, Play More, and Get More subscribers.
So if you’re already on any of these plans, despite your bills not changing, you will not also be needing o make any manual tweak to your plan.
Perhaps the most notable plan improvement will be if you also live in an area that has Verizon’s 5G Home internet available. When combining 5G Home with one of the three unlimited plans the price for home broadband will drop by 50%.
But if you have automatic payments configured, Verizon charges about US$50 for its 5G home broadband service and that includes taxes, fees, and equipment charges.
According to the carrier, typical download speeds for the home broadband service are about 300 Mbps with peaks of 1GB per second.
Verizon is offering a two-year price guarantee for the US$50 per month plan and a free month of service, Google Nest Mini, and Verizon’s Stream TV connected box for using apps through your TV.
But then you can crank up the price to US$70 per month for the 5G Home Plus which will get you some perks including a three-year price lock, unlimited cloud backup to Verizon Cloud, one-year subscriptions to Disney Plus and AMC Plus.
As of today, Verizon offers its 5G Home in about 65 cities via the millimeter-wave 5G network but the company said that by the time it rolls out its C-band spectrum, it will be able to further expand the network reach and offer “millions more homes and businesses” a faster and better 5G experience even though there isn’t any detail about when or where exactly those will be.