Verizon claims that it is ready to start accelerating its 5G rollout which up until today has reached less than a dozen major cities. Just yesterday, Verizon expanded service to extremely limited areas of Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, DC bringing the total number of 5G cities to nine. However, the company is committed to expanding coverage to over 30 cities by the end of 2019.
What about the future? According to Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, the company's network will cover 50 percent of the nation by 2020. That seems pretty optimistic given the slow rollouts so far in 2019, but in an interview with CNBC, Vestberg says that Verizon is in a better position now than it was with the previous-generation wireless standard.
“I think 4G took much longer time to actually reach those improvements,” said Vestberg. “I see good trajectory.”
5G promises to bring a revolutionary change to the wireless industry, with huge leaps in speed compared to existing 4G LTE technology. "With Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband Network, businesses and consumers can enjoy essentially real-time experiences with higher capacity, higher throughput and lower latency," said Verizon in a press release yesterday when announcing its 5G Ultra Wideband coverage to four additional cities. "That means downloading movies in seconds versus minutes and supporting mobile workforce applications."
While the network rollout just "might" hit 50 percent in 2020 if Verizon's forecast is accurate, it will take much longer for the American public to have hardware in their hands that is capable of taking advantage of those higher transmission speeds. According to Vestberg, by 2024, only 50 percent of Americans will have a 5G-capable device in their hands.