Verizon lights up its 5G Home network

The new service, launching in four cities, gives Verizon a new way to compete with cable companies.

Verizon on Monday morning officially started installing its 5G home broadband service in parts of four cities: Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston, and Indianapolis. The carrier officially declared Houston resident Clayton Harris "the first 5G customer in the world."

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The service will provide typical network speeds of 300Mbps and peak speeds of 940Mbps.

For the initial rollout, Verizon has put together a bundle meant to entice customers away from cable companies: The first three months are free, including all of the equipment and professional installation. After the first three months, existing Verizon Wireless customers pay $50 a month, while other customers pay $70 a month. Customers at launch also get either a free Apple TV 4K or a Google Chromecast Ultra device. They also get three free months of Youtube TV.

"We see this as a great opportunity for customers to cut the cord and use a fixed wireless service instead of their existing wired service," Bill Stone, VP of Technology Development & Planning," said to ZDNet on Monday morning.

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While Verizon isn't sharing exactly how many customers have signed up so far, Stone said there's been significant interest on the website Verizon set up a few weeks ago for potential customers.

While initial customers are getting white glove installation services free, Verizon intends to move toward a self-install option, Stone said. The initial rollout should help Verizon learn what's needed from a product that customers can easily install themselves.

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Nicki Palmer, Verizon's chief network engineering officer and head of wireless networks, told ZDNet earlier that Verizon's 5G Home service will be launching in many more cities with a 5G mobile service to "follow quickly."

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