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The US just switched on its 5G network and boy is it fast

Verizon just launched a trial version of its 5G network in the US and if early reports are to be believed it is blisteringly fast.

The company turned the network on in “select areas” of Minneapolis and Chicago on Wednesday. This let earlier adopters of Motorola’s 5G Moto Mod, which is an exclusive to Verizon in the US, access to the network.

Hans Vestberg, Verizon’s chairman and chief executive officer, listed the roll out as a key step in the company’s 5G plans.

Related: What is 5G?

“Verizon customers will be the first in the world to have the power of 5G in their hands,” said Vestberg.

“This is the latest in our string of 5G firsts. Verizon launched the first commercial broadband 5G service last October, Verizon 5G Home, and now we’re lighting up our 5G Ultra Wideband network in Chicago and Minneapolis, providing the world’s first commercial 5G mobile service with a 5G-enabled smartphone.”

5G is a new networking technology designed to sit alongside existing 4G networks. It aims to offer users gigabit-per-second data speeds and will in theory let users download huge files, like TV series, in minutes and stream demanding 3D games over the cloud in real-time.

Related: 5G Phones

We saw a trial 5G network being run by Motorola streaming Shadow of the Tomb Raider in “high graphical settings” at 60fps on Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud service at MWC 2019, which was awesome.

Verizon’s quoting its 5G network as offering users typical download speeds of 450 Mbps and an average latency of less than 30 milliseconds. Reports have since broken on the ground from users, including an Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo, that they are hitting speeds of 760Mbps, which isn’t to be sniffed at.

5G is set to launch in select areas of the UK, including London, by the end of the year. Numerous companies have already unveiled, or announced plans to launch, 5G phones. Highlights include the Galaxy S10 5G and Huawei Mate X. The fabled OnePlus 7 is also expected to be a 5G phone.

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