5G internet expansion: Where 5G is going in 2024

Robin Layton

Nov 22, 2023 — 4 min read

5G towers over a metro area.

What is 5G internet?

5G is the fifth-generation wireless cellular technology that allows you to connect your calls and texts on your cell phone when your device is within your provider’s network and tower radius. It’s also used as a fixed wireless broadband connection called 5G home internet, with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. 

It can get confusing, especially if you have a provider for your 5G mobile network and a 5G home internet service with another or even the same provider. Basically, these are two different services: one is connecting your phone and the other is providing internet service via a gateway device into your home, but they both use the same tower near your home. Unlike cable or fiber, which are hardwired into the actual structure of your home, fixed wireless internet uses broadband spectrum waves from the nearest cell tower in your network to power your internet connection.

Which providers are expanding in 5G internet

The top providers of 5G home internet are T-Mobile, Verizon, Starry and AT&T. Verizon was the first ISP to “turn on 5G home internet,” but T-Mobile built out their network faster, making it more available across the U.S. than any other provider. T-Mobile’s 5G internet is available to nearly 60% of the population.

Starry stalled in their rollout, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize in February 2023, but hopes to reinvest in later 2023. Verizon continues to grow its 5G tower network, now covering about 20% of the country, with wide availability on the East Coast to the Midwest. 

AT&T launched their home internet product, AT&T Internet Air in the fall of 2023. AT&T Internet Air is available only in select areas, and the service areas with its faster fiber service will not overlap. 

What is 5G+?

The 5G+ is referring to a mobile phone frequency. Each provider has its branding for using this mid to high-band spectrum. Verizon’s is 5G Ultra Wideband, but the actual “5G+” is AT&T’s name for their mobile phone connection using mid-band spectrum and delivers fast speeds in high traffic areas, including parts of more than 50 cities and more than 80 venues and airports.

5G mobile networks reach speeds around 10 Gbps, and, using a different spectrum band, 5G+ can go beyond 20 Gbps. 

If you see a “plus” beside your 5G on your phone, it “indicates you’re connected to a mmWave 5G NR tower, short-range radios that deliver breakneck speeds. Performing a speed test will reveal download speeds of 1–3 Gbps. For context, 4G LTE averages around 0.025 Gbps on most U.S. carriers,” reports Gadget Hacks

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet expansion

At just $50/mo. for speeds up to 245 Mbps and featuring no data caps or contracts, T-Mobile home internet attracts many customers as it expands. In fact, T-Mobile reported 557,000 new 5G home internet subscribers in the third quarter of 2023, after 509,000 additions in the previous quarter.

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet coverage

T-Mobile home internet is available in several metro areas, including Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Indianapolis, and New Orleans. T-Mobile also specializes in reaching rural communities and brings 5G internet to millions of homes nationwide.

Check your address to see if your home is serviceable by T-Mobile 5G Home Internet.

Verizon 5G Home Internet expansion

Verizon added 434,000 new home internet customers in Q3 2023. The cheapest option in 5G home internet at $25/mo. with autopay and a cell phone plan ($50/mo. without).

Verizon 5G Home Internet coverage

Currently, Verizon 5G Home is available in select cities. You’ll find it in major cities like Las Vegas, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, and Detroit. To find out if Verizon’s 5G home internet is available where you live, you can check Verizon’s website. Provide your address, and Verizon will tell you if you can get 5G internet. 

AT&T Internet Air expansion

AT&T expects its new fixed wireless service Internet Air expansion to be active in over 30 locations by the end of 2023. AT&T Internet Air costs $55/mo., plus taxes. If you add an eligible AT&T wireless (mobile) plan within the first 30 days, you can get the new plan for $35/mo.

AT&T Internet Air coverage

The new service debuted in 16 areas that include parts of major cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles, Tampa, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and more. You can check your address here to see if the service is yet available.

Starry 5G home internet expansion

Starry is emerging from their bankruptcy and plans to expand their 5G home internet, starting at $50/mo. with unlimited data. With speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, it has no data caps or contracts.

Starry 5G home internet coverage

Starry is currently available in a few major markets, including Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Columbus, and Washington, D.C. The internet provider, launched in 2017, isn’t yet available in many areas, but you can plug in your address on Starry’s website to see if you have access to its service.

5G home internet FAQs

What is 5G Wi-Fi?

5G Wi-Fi refers to the 5 Ghz radio frequency used for internet gateways. “Both 5G cellular and 5 GHz WiFi signals have shorter range of coverage (compared to 4G LTE cellular, or 2.4GHz WiFi) but are speedy if you can get the signal. Both 5G and 5 Ghz Wifi have trouble penetrating objects and walls,” explains Optimum. Explore the differences between 5G, 5 Gbps and 5 GHz with Allconnect.

Most 5G home internet plans start around 200 to 300 Mbps and can go up to 1,000. AT&T will slow down your connection during high-traffic times. 

You can tell if your phone is using 5G service if there’s a 5G in the upper corner of the screen. For iPhones, Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options or Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options, if you see that, your phone is 5G capable. For Androids, go to Settings >> Network & internet >> Mobile Network >> Preferred Network type to see what capabilities your phone offers. 


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Illustration of a father and daughter in a living room. The father is sitting in an armchair and reading a newspaper, and the daughter is playing with a toy on the floor.
Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. She built her internet industry expertise writing and editing for four years on the site, as well as on Allconnect’s sister site MYMOVE.com. … Read more