Verizon is extending access to its fast mmWave 5G network to its prepaid customers for the first time. A new unlimited plan starts at $75 a month — $10 more than the standard unlimited prepaid plan — and includes access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. Previously, 5G UW access was limited to postpaid customers on certain unlimited plans. All prepaid and postpaid plans continue to include access to Verizon’s slower Nationwide 5G network, which is currently only a bit faster than LTE.
The 5G UW network does offer impressive speeds, but it’s limited by very short signal range. Currently, Verizon offers the service in parts of 64 cities, so if you’re thinking about upgrading to a plan that includes UW, you’ll definitely want to consult the coverage map. Bear in mind also that the signal doesn’t penetrate walls, so don’t expect to pick it up in your living room.
It’s also worth noting that not all 5G phones support 5G UW, particularly budget devices. Compatible phones sold by Verizon are often indicated by a UW in the model name, but if you plan to bring your own device, that’s something worth checking. 5G phones that don’t support UW will still work with the company’s Sub-6GHz Nationwide 5G network.