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

Verizon to launch 5G in Chicago, Minneapolis at $10 extra cost
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Verizon will launch the nation's first 5G network in Minneapolis and Chicago next month, allowing owners of 5G-capable phones to tap into the network for the first time with the purchase of an accessory.

The nation's largest cellphone carrier announced in a press release Wednesday that owners of Motorola moto z3 phones will be able to purchase a 5G moto mod that allows them to access Verizon's "5G Ultra Wideband Network," thereby creating the world's first 5G-capable smartphones.

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"Continuing our track record of 5G 'firsts,' we are thrilled to bring the first 5G-upgradeable smartphone exclusively to Verizon customers," Kyle Malady, Verizon's chief technology officer, 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."

Customers in the U.S. can preorder the 5G moto mod starting Thursday, according to the press release. Those who order a 5G moto mod Thursday will get a free moto z3 phone when they activate a new line of service on a Verizon plan. Users who want access to the network will have to pay an additional $10 per month.

The $50 price for the 5G moto mod is temporary, according to the press release, and will increase to a retail price of $349.99 once the promotion ends.

"We’re very excited that the transformative 5G moto mod developed at our HQ in Chicago will soon be used by our own community, in addition to Minneapolis, to bring our bright 5G future to life," Rudi Kalil, Motorola's vice president and general manager of North American operations, said in the press release.