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How fast is fast?

You’ve heard lots about 5G speed. But to understand what that really means, you have to rethink everything you already know about wireless broadband.

How fast is fast?

The 5G network is distinguished by its massive capacity and ultra-low latency. Applications that rely on near real-time completion and virtually imperceptible lag times—from autonomous mobility and telemedicine to gaming and esports—are expected to be built on Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.

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But for those who haven’t experienced Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service, it can be difficult to grasp the game-changing speeds of fifth-generation wireless technology. Just how fast is Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network?

SETTING THE 5G SPEED STANDARD

For a network even to be called 5G, its base station must meet certain standards set by the 3GPP cellular communications body. Those standards set a critical baseline. Ultimately, however, a network is only as good as its performance in the wild. Outside controlled testing environments, Verizon’s rollout of 5G Ultra Wideband to parts of 34 cities and counting—has demonstrated some impressive results.

SO JUST HOW FAST IS 5G?

According to a recent RootMetrics® report citing Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband coverage in Chicago, Verizon was the only carrier in any city to deliver a 5G maximum download speed faster than 1.0 gigabits per second (Gbps), and Verizon’s 5G median download speed was more than four times faster than its non-5G coverage.

That means a user could download a 600MB video in about 34 seconds, compared to roughly 2.3 minutes on LTE. In fact, Verizon 5G download speeds in Chicago were so high that Francis Sideco, VP of technology at IHS Markit, observed that it was “the fastest speed we’ve ever recorded in the U.S. on any network technology.”

Recent Speedtest Intelligence data recorded in Denver pegged Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband download speeds at 988.37 megabits per second (Mbps), an 820.2% improvement over LTE. In Minneapolis, Verizon 5G download speeds have been measured at 917.5% of Verizon 4G LTE speeds, while customers in Providence, R.I., have reached download speeds topping 1.13 Gbps, or 11 times faster than 4G LTE.

Select members of the tech press have also been putting Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband to the test and have experienced its high speeds firsthand. In New York, a writer topped out at 1.3 Gbps—fast enough, as he points out, to download an entire season of a Netflix series in less than one minute.

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KEEPING A PROMISE FOR 5G SPEED

For Verizon, every successful 5G speed test and satisfied customer is an important milestone on the path to 5G deployment. “The cornerstone of our strategy is to provide our customers with the best network experience,” says Nicki Palmer, chief product development officer at Verizon Wireless. “That strategy has served us well, and has led the competition to play catch-up.”

Ultimately, Verizon’s goal is to build a network that supports the type of transformative breakthroughs people imagine when they think of next-generation connectivity. Because we know the future will run on 5G, our standards have never been higher. We’re proud that Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is setting the early pace for a revolution.

This article was originally posted on Verizon’s website.

Kevin King is the director of corporate communications for Verizon.

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