After years of hype, carriers are finally turning on their 5G networks. But those deployments remain limited, so don't be surprised if you don't find yourself near one. But as with any technology, give it some time.
Both Verizon and AT&T have launched their mobile 5G networks, while KT says a robot in South Korea is its first 5G customer. Sprint turned on its network alongside the launch of the LG V50 ThinQ 5G phone in June. UK carrier EE was the first in its country to turn on 5G.
It's a virtual certainty, however, that you aren't a 5G customer of any of these carriers. AT&T's network is live in 19 cities, including Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans, but the customers are all small businesses and the carrier has refused to talk about where the coverage is actually located. Verizon, which launched a 5G home service last fall, turned on its network in Chicago and Minneapolis in early April but says the cities will have only pockets of 5G coverage.
Back in April, the early tests of Verizon's 5G network were a mess, with erratic and inconsistent coverage and only some areas where you could experience 5G's true speeds with the Motorola Z3 and its 5G Moto Mod. But a follow-up test in May with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which had the 5G radio integrated into the phone, proved to be a much better experience, with speeds above 1 gigabit per second, or faster than Google Fiber. A test of Sprint's 5G network showed less impressive speeds (but still faster than 4G LTE), but better coverage.