5G is the next evolution in mobile connectivity. It’s not just about faster download speeds and incredible connection speeds. 5G is about how we can use this new technology to provide a better experience for our customers. The 5G hype is real, and it’s already starting to impact our businesses as we prepare for the imminent arrival of 5G.
Where can you get 5G service? Which cities and states have it? And when can you expect to see it in your home? This article will give you an overview of 5G service in the United States.
While it may not be as readily available as other technology, 5G is coming soon to a city near you. That’s because 5G has been tested in some form for years, and is as ready for widespread adoption as other technologies like 4G and Wi-Fi. The technology’s early days have been rocky, but 5G is expected to become a major player in the world of telecommunications and networking. Here’s everything you need to know about 5G.
U.S. carriers AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Sprint Corp. (S), and T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) are actively developing, testing, and deploying 5G components. As of Jan. 2020, 5G had been deployed in 50 cities in the United States. Sprint has rolled out mobile 5G in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. AT&T has made its mobile 5G+ network live for consumers in parts of 35 cities and 190 markets.
- Verizon: Fixed and mobile 5G all over the US.
- AT&T: Mobile 5G in thousands of cities.
- T-Mobile/Sprint: Available in thousands of locations.
- UScellular: Works in parts of California, Iowa, Maine, and other states.
- C Spire: Fixed and mobile 5G in Mississippi.
- Charter’s Spectrum Mobile: Began providing 5G in 2020.
- Comcast/Xfinity: Rolled out nationwide in 2020.
- Starry: Fixed 5G in Boston, Denver, LA, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
- Google Fi & Simple Mobile: Nationwide coverage powered by T-Mobile.
- Nex-Tech Wireless: Launched in 2021.
- US Mobile: 5G works with all of their plans.
- Mint Mobile: Available in thousands of US cities since mid-2020.
- Cricket Wireless: Began offering services in late 2020.
- Visible: Works through Verizon’s network.
- Dish: Beta launched in late 2021.
- Cellcom: Available in parts of Wisconsin.
Not in the US? See our article 5G Availability Around the World for release dates in other countries like Japan, China, and Australia.
Verizon currently offers 5G broadband internet, called 5G Home Internet, in over 900 cities. Some of those locations include Houston TX, Sacramento CA, Indianapolis IN, Los Angeles CA, Chicago IL, Detroit MI, Minneapolis MN, St. Paul MN, Atlanta GA, Dallas TX, Denver CO, and San Jose CA. 5G Home Internet service began on October 1, 2018.
5G Ultra Wideband began rolling out on April 3, 2019, and is presently available in parts of 1,700 cities. 5G Nationwide covers well over 2,000 cities.
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Verizon customers with a qualifying plan pay as low as $25 /month for their home 5G service, or as much as $80 /month without Auto Pay. The 5G plans are month-to-month (not annual contracts), and have no early termination fees or penalties.
There are no data caps and subscribers can expect speeds ranging from 300 Mbps to up to around 1 Gbps, depending on location. This video from Verizon shows one 5G Home Internet user’s download, upload, and latency results.
Verizon Mobile 5G
Mobile 5G service from Verizon began in early April 2019 and is available in limited areas, with more expected throughout the year.
Parts of 1,700 cities have access to 5G Ultra Wideband right now, including Chicago IL, Minneapolis MN, Denver CO, Providence RI, St. Paul MN, Atlanta GA, Detroit MI, Indianapolis IN, Washington DC, Phoenix AZ, New York City NY, Panama City FL, and others.
All of Verizon’s plans include access to 5G Nationwide. The Play More, Do More, and Get More Unlimited plans include access to 5G Ultra Wideband. There’s an extra $10 per month charge for Start Unlimited users.
Several phones from Verizon can use their 5G network, including Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3, iPhone 13, Pixel 6, and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Visible Wireless uses Verizon’s towers for service and is also 5G-compatible. See their coverage map.
AT&T claimed nationwide 5G status in 2020. Beginning December 21, 2018, and continuing currently, the company offers mobile 5G in thousands of cities.
5G from AT&T is available in two forms. One operates on the mmWave spectrum and is called 5G+. It’s available in over 40 cities, including parts of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, West Hollywood, Jacksonville, Orlando, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York City, King of Prussia, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco, and others.
Their low-band 5G network works in 14,000 cities and towns, including Birmingham AL, Indianapolis IN, Los Angeles CA, Milwaukee WI, Pittsburgh PA, Providence RI, Rochester NY, San Diego CA, San Francisco CA, San Jose CA, Wichita KS, Dayton OH, Boston MA, Allentown PA, Brown County IN, Hancock County GA, Hancock County OH, Harrisburg PA, Topeka KS, Trenton NJ, and others.
Service is available via several 5G phones.
T-Mobile & Sprint
T-Mobile launched their nationwide 5G network on December 2, 2019, and continues to add more locations to its coverage area. The Metro by T-Mobile prepaid service started offering access to the 5G network on December 6, 2019.
Sprint and T-Mobile merged into one company. If you’re a Sprint user, depending on the phone you have, you’ve lost 5G coverage in some areas where service was previously available.
In April 2021, T-Mobile Home Internet launched, which brings 100 Mbps speeds directly to eligible homes. At launch, over 30 million homes were eligible to sign up.
T-Mobile has confirmed that on the 600 MHz spectrum, one 5G tower can transmit signals over one thousand square miles.
Compared to millimeter waves which cover a very small area, low-band waves can blast 5G coverage over hundreds of square miles from just one cell tower.
Users can one day expect to achieve an average download speed of 450 Mbps, with maximum 5G speeds around 4 Gbps by 2024.
Google Fi and Simple Mobile are providers that use T-Mobile’s towers, so they also offer nationwide 5G service.
UScellular’s next-gen service began on March 6, 2020, and at this time works in parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, California, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Washington, and other states. It’s available through all of their plans. See the coverage map for details, and check out their phone offerings here.
The company began testing 5G for fixed wireless access in 2016 with Nokia, followed by rural and urban 5G testing with Ericsson in 2017. In early 2019, the company again tested various 5G use cases with Ericsson, like virtual reality, augmented reality, and massive MIMO, in both urban and rural areas. Their 5G Home Internet+ page advertises speeds of up to 300 Mbps in some locations. Here’s the current list of cities getting FWA.
Dish launched a beta version of their 5G network in September 2021. There’s a separate website where you can sign up to be alerted when the network comes to your area. It runs on AT&T’s network.
Dish plans to cover 70 percent of the US population by June 2023, starting with Las Vegas.
C Spire, the largest privately held wireless provider in the US, launched a 5G fixed wireless access service in December 2018. It’s available for select customers across Mississippi. Check their 5G availability to see if next-gen service is offered where you live, or fill out this form to express your interest in getting it in your neighborhood. It’s said to offer no data cap, no installation fee, and no long-term contract, for $50 /month with 120 Mbps download speeds.
You can get it free by becoming a 5G Internet Hub Home, which is where you agree to let the company attach the appropriate equipment to your house which is then relayed to your neighbors, thus extending their network.
The 5G FWA service uses 28 GHz equipment provided by Phazr. Despite the standard service speed set at 120 Mbps, users have reportedly been able to achieve download speeds of up to 750 Mbps and upload speeds as fast as 600 Mbps, with latency as low as 8 ms.
The company’s president says that C Spire “plans to deploy fixed wireless internet service to thousands of consumers and businesses across the state over the next several years.“
In October 2020, C Spire rolled out mobile 5G in Mississippi. Brookhaven and Columbus were chosen as the initial 5G markets. In 2021, they unveiled a $1B investment to accelerate deployment in Mississippi and Alabama.
Charter’s Spectrum Mobile is rolling out services across dozens of cities, including Omaha, Dallas, Boston, Detroit, Washington D.C., St. Paul, Denver, Miami, Spokane, and Kansas City. Check specific coverage with their 5G map.
See their 5G phones for all the devices that work on their network. Customers on their unlimited plan can get 5G service for no additional cost.
Comcast (Xfinity) offers 5G through an MVNO agreement with Verizon. It’s included in their data plans at no extra charge.
Their 5G network has been available nationwide since October 14, 2020. Check out Xfinity’s 5G coverage map to see where the network is available now.
Starry has fixed 5G services available in Boston MA, Denver CO, Los Angeles CA, New York City NY, and Washington DC. The 5G plan is $50 /month for 200 Mbps speeds and no data cap.
The company has plans to bring 5G to homes in other US cities, but it’s unclear when it will take place. They include Cleveland OH, Chicago IL, Houston TX, Dallas TX, Seattle WA, Detroit MI, Atlanta GA, Indianapolis IN, San Francisco CA, Philadelphia PA, Miami FL, Memphis TN, Phoenix AZ, Minneapolis MN, Manchester NH, Portland OR, and Sioux Falls SD.
Starry Connect is a program that provides free or low-cost 5G internet to buildings in low-income areas. See Starry: Technology to learn more about how they’re implementing 5G.
Nex-Tech Wireless and Ericsson reached a deal in April 2020 to deploy 5G. In March 2020, they were deploying 5G-ready sites, and in late 2021 began offering 5G service in these areas of the United States.
US Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that operates on Verizon’s and T-Mobile’s networks. 5G is available on all of their plans.
5G became available from Mint Mobile in July 2020. Since it uses T-Mobile’s network, it’s available from those same cities. It’s free on all their plans.
You can read more about it, and find compatible devices, on their Mint Mobile 5G page.
Boom! Mobile runs their service using other networks’ towers, and one option they have is 5G. Boom! Red is the plan type that supports 5G.
Piggybacking on AT&T’s network, Cricket Wireless has been offering 5G since August 21, 2020.
Access is now available on all plans with a 5G-compatible device, including iPhone 13, LG K92, and Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G; check this page for an updated, full listing of 5G compatible phones. For details on where those devices can reach 5G speeds, see the Cricket Wireless coverage map.
Cellcom’s 5G network is available in parts of Wisconsin. Expansion is expected throughout 2022. See their 5G devices for your options.