Verizon plans to flip the switch on its 5G wireless service in early 2019, and Samsung will release a 5G smartphone on that network shortly after.
The two companies announced their plans Monday (Dec. 3) to coincide with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit, where we expect to learn about Qualcomm’s next-gen smartphone processor. That chip, which will include the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem and antennas, will power the next wave of flagship Android phones.
We don’t know yet what Samsung’s 5G phone will look like or what other features it might have at launch, but Samsung and Verizon will show off a proof of concept device at Qualcomm’s event this week. An earlier report said that Samsung is working on a 5G version of the Galaxy S10, but that doesn't mean this device is it.
Verizon rolled out 5G broadband service, called Verizon Home, in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento in October. It’s unclear which cities will be first with 5G wireless service, but Verizon says that its 5G network will go live in early 2019 and expand rapidly.
LG and Sprint announced in August their plans to release the first 5G smartphone. Verizon and Samsung could beat them to the punch.
Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly waiting until 2020 to release a 5G-compatible phone, when every carrier’s 5G network will be fully operational nationwide and most of the kinks have been worked out.