A giant Verizon 5G logo in an expo hall.
Enlarge / A Verizon sales space at Mobile World Congress Americas in Los Angeles in September 2018.

Verizon on Friday introduced that its 5G network is now accessible in three NBA arenas and is coming to seven extra by the top of the 2019-2020 basketball season.

But there is a massive caveat, identical to there may be with Verizon’s 5G protection in NFL stadiums: Verizon 5G solely covers among the seating areas.

Verizon’s 5G-in-arenas announcement on Friday didn’t point out this vital restrict. But when contacted by Ars, Verizon stated the 5G network would not cover the entire area for any of those NBA amenities. “Just certain seating areas” within the NBA arenas have entry to 5G, a Verizon spokesperson instructed us.

This is not shocking, provided that Verizon’s early 5G rollout depends closely on millimeter-wave indicators that do not journey far and are simply blocked by partitions and different obstacles. But whereas NFL stadiums sometimes seat between 60,000 and 80,000 individuals, the seating capability in NBA arenas is usually 17,000 to 21,000. Despite the massive distinction in measurement, Verizon’s 5G network is not but able to overlaying all of the seating areas in any certainly one of these amenities.

Phoenix, San Francisco, and Denver

Verizon stated its 5G is newly accessible in Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix (dwelling of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns), Chase Center in San Francisco (dwelling of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors), and the Pepsi Center in Denver (dwelling of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NHL’s Colorado Avalanche). Verizon’s announcement did not say what knowledge speeds attendees ought to anticipate, nevertheless it promised that 5G will “enhance the game-day experience for sports fans [and] provide greater bandwidth for concert-goers, visitors, or businesses working inside the venue.”

Verizon additionally stated 5G protection is “coming soon to Madison Square Garden” in New York City, dwelling of the NBA’s New York Knicks and NHL’s New York Rangers. Overall, Verizon stated its “5G Ultra Wideband mobility service will be live in 10 arenas by the end of the 2019-2020 season,” nevertheless it did not identify the remainder of them. There are 29 NBA arenas and 32 NHL arenas, with some overlap between these lists.

It’s not clear when or if Verizon 5G will be capable of cover all of the seating areas in any single main sports activities facility. Verizon boasts that its 5G is accessible in 13 NFL stadiums and is coming to extra this season, nevertheless it hasn’t stated if it expects to attain full-stadium protection. 5G can work on all frequencies, so on the very least it ought to finally be rolled out on the identical frequencies used for 4G.

Just as a result of Verizon provides 5G to a stadium or area doesn’t suggest 5G is accessible anyplace else within the metropolis the place the ability is. “In some cities the stadium will be the only place with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service,” Verizon stated when it made its NFL announcement. Verizon does provide 5G in non-arena components of Denver and Phoenix however not but in San Francisco.

Verizon made one other 5G announcement immediately, saying that its 5G dwelling Internet service is coming to Chicago on October 24, the fifth metropolis to get it. The service shall be accessible solely “in parts of the Windy City,” Verizon stated.

For cell service, Verizon prices $10 further per 30 days for 5G service however contains it at no cost “for a limited time” in sure limitless plans. Verizon prices $70 a month for 5G dwelling Internet service, or $50 in the event you’re additionally a Verizon cell buyer. Verizon has stated it plans to convey 5G dwelling Internet to each market the place it deploys 5G cell service. Not together with stadium deployments, Verizon 5G cell is accessible to this point in 10 cities and is slated to hit 20 extra cities by the top of 2019.

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