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Half of Americans will have 5G by 2020, Verizon CEO claims

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told CNBC that half of Americans will have access to 5G technology by 2020. 

Vestberg told CNBC in an interview on Thursday that he expects 5G to reach 50% of the country next year. He also said that half of Americans would own a 5G phone by 2024. 

His comments come on the heels of Verizon announcing that it’s adding four new 5G locations. These locations include Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Washington, D.C. Other cities include Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Providence, Rhode Island, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

The 5G coverage is concentrated in certain areas of these cities. For example, a Verizon press release says that that in Chicago, most 5G coverage is only in Chicago’s Downtown Loop. Chicago has 77 neighborhoods, so the coverage is pretty limited for now. 

The other 5G cities also have coverage in only certain areas or neighborhoods so far. 

By the end of the year, more than 30 cities will have 5G service from Verizon, including Phoenix, Boston, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, and Dallas. 

Verizon spokesperson Christina Moon Ashraf told Digital Trends the company does not have current or future coverage maps to share because of the rapid rate at which 5G is being expanded to these cities. 

Carriers initially rolled out 5G to select cities last year. This new mobile broadband is replacing 4G connections and promises to have faster downloads and upload speeds for improved web browsing and in-app experiences. Communication between mobile networks will also have increased speeds. 

“I think that 5G has the potential to be one of the most transformative technologies that we’ve seen in a long time,” Vestberg told Yahoo Finance earlier this year. 

Verizon isn’t the one carrier to start rolling out 5G. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have also begun pilot programs in certain cities. 

It appears that before long, 4G will be a thing of the past, as Vestberg told CNBC that 4G was a much slower process than 5G is proving to be. 

“I think 4G took a much longer time to actually reach those improvements,” he said in the interview. “Don’t forget that 4G is an extremely powerful technology as well.”

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