Verizon Plans To Make 5G Available to 100 Million in U.S. This Month

Verizon video with Hans Vestberg and Elizabeth Banks
Hans Vestberg and Elizabeth Banks talk 5G during a YouTube presentation

Verizon said it is accelerating the rollout of its 5G Ultra Wideband service, making it available to 100 million people in the U.S. later this month.

The 5G rollout will follow a two-week delay agreed to by both Verizon and AT&T in order to clear up possible interference with aviation signals, but Verizon said consumers can start to sign up for new service plans starting Wednesday (January 5).

Verizon said premium unlimited mobile plans will include subscriptions to streaming services including Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus. With Ultra Wideband, Verizon can deliver high-definition video with less latency and buffering.

Verizon also has 5G plans for homes and businesses.

The company announced the rollout with a "show" on YouTube designed to demonstrate what consumers and businesses can do with 5G. The long-form ad featured Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg with Elizabeth Banks, Terry Crews, Ming-Na Wen and Hannah Storm from locations including SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, where the Super Bowl will be played, and the set of Disney Plus series The Book of Boba Fett.

“This massive launch will put incredible speeds, reliability and security in the hands of our customers and amplifies our offering of reliable home and business broadband options to more places around the country, well ahead of the commitment we made last year,” said Vestberg. “As 5G Ultra Wideband becomes available to more and more people and businesses, it will allow our customers to do more amazing things.”

Bernstein analyst Peter Supino said that what was most interesting about Verizon’s announcement was its aggressive pricing, particularly for fixed wireless broadband in homes and businesses. 

“The new news is that Verizon's pricing is lower than expected and indicates that Verizon plans to hit the ground running in fixed wireless broadband for homes and businesses,” Supino said in a note Tuesday. 

Verizon is offering 50% off home internet, making its price $35 a month. Supino called that price level “disruptive.”

“T-Mobile is selling the same product successfully (we estimate 80-100k net adds/month with twice as much mid-band coverage) for $50,” he said. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.