Verizon to launch 5G in Chicago, Minneapolis at $10 extra cost

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The nation’s largest cell phone carrier announced in a press release Wednesday that owners of a Motorola Z3 phone will be able to purchase an accessory that allows users to access Verizon‘s “5G Ultra Wideband Network,” thereby creating the world’s first 5G-capable smartphones.

Continuing our track record of 5G ‘firsts,’ we are thrilled to bring the first 5G-upgradeable smartphone exclusively to Verizon customers,” Verizon’s chief tech officer, Kyle Malady, said in the press release.

Not all 5G networks are the same. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network is built by the company with the nation’s best and most reliable 4G LTE network,” Malady continued. “It will change the way we live, work, learn and play, starting in Chicago and Minneapolis and rapidly expanding to more than 30 U.S. markets this year.”

Preorders for the Moto Z3 mod will open on Thursday, according to the news release. The accessory will be provided free to Verizon users who upgrade their smartphones to the Moto Z3 on March 14 or later, while users who want access to the network will have to pay an additional $10 per month (with the first three months free).

The promotional price of $50 for the Z3’s accessory is temporary, according to the news release, and will increase to a retail price of $349.99 once Verizon’s March 14 promotion ends.

The first 5G-ready phone will be the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which debuts next month. Meanwhile, lots of other companies are getting their 5G phones ready to go.

Verizon plans to launch the service in 30 cities this year, CEO Hans Vestberg told investors in February, but didn’t specify which cities.

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