Google Fi will support 5G thanks to Sprint’s network
If you use Google Fi you won’t have to worry about missing the 5G revolution, provided you can afford the hardware and live in the right city. Google and Sprint announced Monday that Sprint will bring 5G to Google’s signature Fi MVNO in the first half of 2019. Since Google Fi recently expanded its support to a much wider variety of devices, it shouldn’t take too long to find a compatible phone to take advantage of Fi(veG).
Since the LG V35 is already fully supported on Google Fi, it stands to reason that the recently announced LG V50 could be the first phone to work with the MVNO’s 5G network (especially since it already supports Sprint’s 5G bands). Given that the Moto X4 and Moto G6 take full advantage of Google Fi’s network, it’s likely we’ll see support for a Moto 5G phone, and we could see Google release at least one 5G variant of its expected Pixel 4 series later this year.
While Google Fi’s support for 5G was announced for the first half of 2019, the initial rollout will be limited to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. There is no word yet on when the MVNO will support 5G in other cities, though Sprint will announce any future updates on its dedicated network news page.
While it’s always exciting to see a new high-speed data network rollout, and being among the first to experience it brings a certain “I’m ahead of the curve” cred, it’ll probably take several years to fully mature, much like 4G before it. Spotty coverage and overly expensive first-generation 5G phones will likely mar the experience for early adopters in the United States in 2019, whether on Google Fi or one of the major networks. It remains to be seen whether other major markets like Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Seattle, San Antonio, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Portland, Denver or Detroit will see Google Fi 5G in the second half of 2019, but I’m not holding my breath. Also, many suburban and rural areas won’t be getting 5G for several years yet.