5g in h-town

Houston selected as one of only 4 U.S. cities for speedy Verizon 5G service

Houston selected as one of only 4 U.S. cities for Verizon 5G service

Verizon Wireless storefront
Houston will receive residential 5G broadband and wireless service later this year. Courtesy photo

Great news for Houston Verizon customers who’re looking for faster downloads or catching up on Who Is America on their phones. Verizon announced on July 24 plans to launch 5G technology here starting in the second half of 2018, making Houston the third city in the telecom giant's four-market deployment plan to deliver residential 5G broadband service.

Verizon previously announced plans for Sacramento and Los Angeles. The 5G broadband service will use radio signals to provide internet and phone services to the home, according to Verizon, which adds that 5G won’t be available for mobile devices until later this year.

Aside from obvious benefits to the home and mobile experience, Verizon is vaunting its “smart city” initiative, which aims to create 5G cities. The provider claims that 5G cities are better equipped to drive improvements in public safety (smart street lights, remote security monitoring); transit (intelligent rail, smart parking); utilities (water treatment and management); public Wi-Fi access; and emergency preparedness.

Locally, Mayor Sylvester Turner — who will host Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, incoming CEO Hans Vestburg, and other Verizon brass on July 24 as he makes an official announcement — has directed that this 5G plan serve under-resourced neighborhoods in the pilot phase of the his "Complete Communities" program, which is aimed at providing city services on an equitable basis.

“We will be the first to offer commercial 5G service and our work with Houston put us one step closer to delivering that promise,” said Verizon’s Vestberg, in a statement. “With 5G we are ushering in a fourth industrial revolution that will help reshape cities and lead to unprecedented innovation, and Houston will be at the forefront of that innovation.”