Verizon waives $10 5G network fee amid mixed reviews

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While most people who tested the network reported achieving speeds of 300-600 Mbps, there were plenty of problems with finding the 5G network signal, or keeping the Motorola Z3 phone connected to it. (Monica Alleven/FierceWireless)

Verizon will waive for three months the $10 fee it planned to charge subscribers for accessing its 5G network. After launching in Chicago and Minneapolis earlier this month, the carrier announced an additional 20 cities across the U.S. where it will turn on 5G services this year.

 

Verizon said it’ll waive the charge for subscribers in Chicago and Minneapolis. A few of the reviewers reported disappointing results using the network, and some recommended consumers don’t pay for the service until the network is expanded and the kinks are worked out.

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RELATED: Verizon expands 5G to 20 more cities; pre-order open for Samsung S10 5G phones

 

While most people who tested the network reported achieving speeds of 300-600 Mbps, there were plenty of problems with finding the 5G network signal, or keeping the Motorola Z3 phone connected to it.

 

During Verizon’s quarterly earnings call April 23, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said the network in those initial two cities was “performing as expected on a brand new technology being deployed for the first time in the world.”

 

“As more features within the network become available for deployment through ongoing software innovation, we will provide increased coverage, improved capacity and greater throughput,” Vestberg said, according to a transcript of the call provided by Motley Fool.

 

Verizon’s deployments in Chicago and Minneapolis used the carrier’s millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum technologies to deliver high speeds in dense urban areas. But as Wave7 Research’s Jeffrey Moore told FierceWireless this week, mmWave technologies tend to have weak signal propagation, pointing to concerns about the urban use case for the technology when there are large buildings and other obstacles that can block the signal. 

 

RELATED: Verizon CEO on mmWave: Early days but engineering team good with it

 

Vestberg seemed to concede that there are challenges with mmWave during the earnings call. “We all need to remind ourselves, this is not a coverage spectrum,” he said. It’s unclear if those considerations factored into Verizon’s decision to wave the $10 fee for its 5G network.

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