Ver­i­zon says it will have a Sam­sung 5G phone in early 2019

USA TODAY International Edition - - MONEY - Eli Blu­men­thal

The 5G fu­ture con­tin­ues to take shape with each passing day, and it took an­other big step to­ward re­al­ity Mon­day.

In a joint an­nounce­ment, Ver­i­zon and Sam­sung said they will be work­ing to­gether to re­lease a 5G smart­phone in the “first half of 2019,” giv­ing the wire­less car­rier its sec­ond 5G phone for its yet-to-launch net­work. The first phone, Mo­torola’s Z3, al­ready is on sale, and users will be able to upgrade to 5G through a forth­com­ing ac­ces­sory. Sam­sung’s phone, mean­while, will have 5G built-in.

Ver­i­zon cur­rently has a 5G net­work live in Houston, In­di­anapo­lis, Los An­ge­les and Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia, but that is de­signed as more of a home broad­band al­ter­na­tive.

The com­pany’s mo­bile 5G net­work, the more tra­di­tional net­work that phones will be able to tap into, is slated to launch early next year.

Not much is known about the Sam­sung de­vice, though it will be pow­ered by Qual­comm’s “flag­ship Snap­dragon Mo­bile Plat­form” to con­nect to the newer, faster net­work. Given that the an­nounce­ment co­in­cides with Qual­comm’s an­nual Snap­dragon Tech­nol­ogy Sum­mit in Maui, Hawaii, this week, it is pos­si­ble more de­tails on the pro­ces­sor and mo­dem will be re­vealed there.

Sam­sung tra­di­tion­ally in­tro­duces new Galaxy S phones in the spring, mak­ing it pos­si­ble the 5G phone will be a vari­a­tion of the ex­pected Galaxy S10.

By in­tro­duc­ing a 5G phone next year, Sam­sung also would gain a leg up on Ap­ple, which may be wait­ing un­til 2020 to re­lease its first 5G iPhones.

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