Verizon debuts super-fast 5G wireless service in Providence
Super-fast 5G wireless data service crept a little closer to Boston on Monday, as Verizon Communications launched 5G service in Providence.
A 5G system is designed to offer much faster data downloads than current 4G technology. Verizon promises average download speeds of 450 megabits per second — about 10 times faster than the latest 4G services. Verizon also promises peak download speeds of up to 1.5 gigabits per second, fast enough to download full-length high-resolution movies in a few seconds.
But users will have to purchase phones that are compatible with the upgraded network, at prices ranging from $700 to $1,300. In addition, 5G service will be available only in certain areas of Providence.
Verizon said the service is available to residents of College Hill, Federal Hill, and Mount Hope, and on the campuses of Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Providence College.
Also, 5G services use radio frequencies with shorter ranges and less ability to penetrate the walls of buildings. Some early users have complained of frequent loss of the 5G signal, forcing the phone to run in a slower 4G mode.
Verizon has promised to deliver 5G service to 30 US cities this year, including Boston. The company’s first 5G offerings were in Chicago and Minneapolis, and Denver went online last week. That makes Providence the fourth city to offer Verizon 5G. The nation’s other major wireless networks — T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T — have also begun rolling out 5G service in other cities.