ST. PAUL — Verizon flipped the switch on Thursday, July 18, making available its next-generation 5G data service in parts of St. Paul, making it the fifth U.S. city to get such super-fast wireless connectivity.
Minneapolis and Chicago were the first in April. Denver and Providence, R.I., have since come on board, and Verizon plans to light up a total of 30 U.S. cities by year’s end.
The carrier is in frenzied competition with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, which are all deploying versions of 5G but are not yet offering such service in the Twin Cities.
Only a few smartphones are currently compatible with Verizon 5G. These include LG and Samsung models along with a pair of Motorola phones that awkwardly need hardware attachments for 5G compatibility. No Apple iPhone model is 5G-capable.
Verizon’s 5G speeds can, at times, seem jaw-dropping. Downloads in downtown St. Paul will often reach or surpass 2 gigabits per second, which is notable since a residential-broadband hookup typically doesn’t exceed 1 gigabit.
At the moment it’s available only in a small portion of St. Paul, including about a third of downtown and a few nearby areas.