Verizon has announced that is has launched 5G service using millimeter wave spectrum in parts of the Des Moines metro area. Although actual coverage maps have not been released by Verizon, various media reports say 5G is live in in parts of downtown, East Village and West Des Moines. Additional 5G coverage is coming around landmarks including the Iowa state capitol, Hyvee Hall, Wells Fargo Arena, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Principal Park, Jordan Creek Town Center and MercyOne West Des Moines.
As in other cities, the Verizon 5G will have very limited range due to the nature of the millimeter wave frequencies being used. As a result, coverage will be mainly outdoors in public areas where the device has line-of-sight to a 5G cell. Then there's the issue of whether you can actually USE 5G's capabilities. Only a handful of newer mobile devices have 5G-capable radios, so the rollout's impact will be limited for some time to come.
Verizon competitor US Cellular has also announced plans to start rolling out 5G in its service territory in 2020. Unlike Verizon, however, it will be using spectrum with better ability to provide indoor coverage, although not being able to provide the gigabit speeds that Verizon is touting.
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June 16, 2021
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