For Now, Verizon's 5G Home Internet Service Offers Very Little Coverage
PC Magazine|November 2020
Verizon’s 5G Home service may be fast, but very few people can access it—even in the eight cities Verizon purports to serve. Since the company doesn’t offer a coverage map for its home service, we pumped more than 400 Chicago and Minneapolis addresses through the Verizon 5G Home address finder and discovered that the home service has even less coverage than the mobile service does.
SASCHA SEGAN

That’s not what I expected after I spoke to Verizon last month. On Oct. 1, the company launched a new indoor home router that is supposed to have better range than the tiny antennas in mobile phones. But looking at neighborhoods on the North Side of Chicago and in Minneapolis, we found that not only does the coverage not reach beyond what Verizon claims for phones, houses on streets that Verizon purports to serve came back with “no coverage” for the home service.

“The inconsistency in the coverage is going to make marketing Verizon 5G Home next-level challenging, because pitches will have to be targeted individually, and even then may need to be verified on site,” said Avi Greengart, founder of analysis firm Techsponential.

Verizon, of course, counseled patience: “With our new equipment, customers will have an even better 5G Home experience. Keep in mind, we’re only on day 3 with the new equipment and our new 5G Home markets. To ensure our customers have the best experience, the website is currently being a bit conservative with who is getting qualified. That said, we’re expecting performance improvements and the addition of new small cells will continue to improve both coverage area and speeds,” a spokesman said.

A GREAT DEAL...BUT WHERE?

Verizon’s 5G Home relies on the same technology as its 5G mobile network, offering homes speeds of 300Mbps and up for $50 or $70 a month, depending on whether they’re Verizon Wireless subscribers. Users can install the new routers themselves, with no wires or external antennas needed. It’s a great deal—if you can get it.

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