Verizon brings 5G service to new basketball, hockey arenas

Verizon’s 5G network can’t cover an entire basketball arena either

Verizon’s 5G network can’t cover an entire basketball arena either

Verizon's 5G-in-arenas announcement on Friday did not mention this significant limit. That 5G is only available in some of the seating areas.

It's hard to know right off if these arenas or Verizon will detail exactly which seats have 5G access, but good lord, this is kinda silly.

This isn't surprising, given that Verizon's early 5G rollout relies heavily on millimeter-wave signals that don't travel far and are easily blocked by walls and other obstacles. But while National Football League stadiums typically seat between 60,000 and 80,000 people, the seating capacity in NBA arenas is generally 17,000 to 21,000.

As for where it popped up today, that would be Talking Stick Resort Arena (Phoenix), Chase Center (San Francisco), and the Pepsi Center (Denver). But the National Basketball Association season starts tomorrow, and fans who were expecting faster internet speeds during games may be disappointed.

Verizon on Thursday will expand its 5G Home broadband offering to Chicago, but unlike four initial launch cities, the Chicago service uses the global 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard.

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"Now, in addition to Verizon's speedy 5G Ultra Wideband mobility service, Chicago customers can access 5G Home Internet, the next generation of lightning fast home broadband internet service", said Brian Higgins, vice president, device and consumer product marketing, Verizon.

The news follows Verizon's announcement in September that Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service is live in 13 National Football League stadiums.

Just because Verizon adds 5G to a stadium or arena doesn't mean 5G is available anywhere else in the city where the facility is. "In some cities the stadium will be the only place with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service", Verizon said when it made its National Football League announcement. The best part is there will be no data cap on Verizon's 5G home internet service this is great news for cord cutters in Chicago with a data cap. Customers still get the first three months of service free, and then it costs $50 per month for those with Verizon wireless service, and $70 per month for those without.

Enjoy those sweet speeds, Verizon customers who also happen to own a 5G-capable smartphone. The service will be available only "in parts of the Windy City", Verizon said. As with most of its mobile 5G cities, however, uploads, for now, will be done on the company's 4G LTE network.

In terms of FWA, many smaller wireless internet service providers already deliver fixed wireless broadband services in more rural communities across the USA, but Verizon isn't the only major carrier with eyes on FWA for home broadband.

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