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By Alex Perry
The 5G train just keeps on rolling.
Verizon announced Thursday that its mobile 5G network would become commercially available in New York City starting Sept. 26. Similar to how 5G rollouts have gone in other cities, it’ll only be available in certain parts of town at first.
Overall, it’s the 11th city to get 5G coverage from Verizon in 2019. The plan is to eventually get it up and running in 30 cities by the end of the year, with Verizon announcing many of those cities earlier this summer. It’s worth noting that MetLife Stadium, which is just outside the city in New Jersey, recently got Verizon 5G coverage along with 12 other NFL stadiums.
Verizon’s announcement is light on specifics, but it seems like service will be largely restricted to parts of Manhattan at first. That said, select areas of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx will get service, too.
That’s notable because 5G coverage in New York City from other carriers has been pretty Manhattan-centric. T-Mobile’s coverage map extends into downtown Brooklyn a little bit, while Sprint doesn’t leave the island at all.
For non-New York residents, that means 5G coverage mostly exists in the place where people work, but not so much in the parts of town where many people live.
5G might be a tough nut to crack in New York because of the way the city is laid out. We’ve tested Sprint’s 5G network a bit and found that sometimes it slowed down or disappeared entirely in the presence of tall buildings, which are in abundance here. Given that the city is also spread out across four different landmasses, it might be a while before everyone can take advantage of mobile 5G.
But if a carrier’s 5G service can make it here, it can make it anywhere.