Verizon customers can now access the carrier’s 5G network in the United States from yet another smartphone.
The $1,000 LG V50 ThinQ 5G hit stores Thursday, making it the second 5G smartphone offered by Verizon (VZ).
In May, Samsung (SSNLF) released its $1,300 Galaxy S10 5G smartphone on the Verizon network. Verizon was the first carrier in the US to debut 5G smartphones, but other wireless carriers such as Sprint (S) are expected to get 5G smartphones later this year. AT&T (T), which owns CNN’s parent company, started offering the Samsung (SSNLF) Galaxy S10 5G to its business customers and 5G developers on Monday.
Verizon also has the $240 Motorola moto z3. While it isn’t a standalone 5G smartphone, the moto z3 can access the 5G network with a $200 modular attachment that resembles a small battery pack. It launched on Verizon’s network in April in select parts of Chicago and Minneapolis.
5G is the latest iteration of wireless technology and is expected to allow for things like faster video streaming and more technical advancements such as powering self-driving cars.
By the end of 2019, Verizon’s 5G network will be available in over 30 US cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, San Diego, and Washington, DC, according to the company. Currently, it’s only available in select parts of Chicago and Minneapolis. When customers leave designated areas with working 5G networks, their smartphones will still work on Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
AT&T has launched its 5G network in nearly 20 cities. Customers can’t yet access AT&T’s network with a smartphone, but they can use a Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot.
Carriers’ 5G networks are still very limited, but 5G phones are a big step toward a greater rollout. They allow carriers to test their services and create the foundation for future iterations of 5G devices.
The transition from 4G to 5G networks in the United States will be slow until 2020 and involve infrastructure upgrades that cost companies billions of dollars and lots of testing. There’s still a ways to go before consumers are able to widely access 5G but the US has made solid ground in the global race to roll out the technology.
A report published in April by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), which represents the US wireless communications industry, found the US and China are now tied for first place in 5G readiness.