Verizon says happy couple are world’s first 5G customers
Verizon has declared that Emily and Clayton Harris of Houston, Texas, are the world’s first 5G customers.
The telecoms company announced the switch-on of its 5G Home network, in parts of the Texas city as well as in Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento, and picked the Harris couple as the first customers.
“The world’s first commercial 5G service is here,” said Ronan Dunne, the former O2 UK boss who is now president of Verizon Wireless.
“We’ve formed incredible partnerships with many of the world’s leading technology companies, the international technical standards bodies, public officials, developers and our own customers to drive the 5G ecosystem forward, faster than most had predicted. And now, actual customers. It’s been an incredible journey ... and we’re just at the starting line.”
Verizon said its 5G Home service is “the next generation of home broadband internet service that provides super-fast WiFi”.
Actually, Verizon’s press release identified only Clayton Harris as the customer of the fixed wireless access (FWA) service*. It was only when Capacity asked for a picture of him that Verizon’s press people acknowledged the existence of Emily Harris and supplied a picture of the happy, smiling couple. According to LinkedIn, she is the vice president of a bank in Houston; he is an engineering manager. Capacity assumes both will be using the service.
Verizon said it was able to launch 5G in these first four cities “because of forward-looking state policy and local leaders who embraced innovation and developed a strategic vision for how 5G could be a platform to attract new investment, businesses and next generation services for residents”.
The Harrises and other “first on 5G” members, as Verizon calls them, “get exclusive perks including 5G Home service free for the first three months”. After that introductory period, Verizon Wireless customers with a qualifying smartphone plan will pay $50 per month for the service, while non-Verizon Wireless customers will pay $70 per month.
They will also get access to mobile 5G when it’s available, and “a free Apple TV 4K or Google Chromecast Ultra device at installation”.
* A representative of Verizon’s public relations agency contacted Capacity to say that Clayton Harris is the bill-payer and that he supplied the picture of him with Emily Harris for distribution. However Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said on Twitter that both are customers and featured both of them in his picture.