The next-generation wireless service will cost you an extra $10 a month.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg touting 5G.

Angela Lang/CNET

 Verizon is ready to turn on its real 5G network in two cities.

The nation’s largest wireless provider said Wednesday that it’ll launch its mobile 5G service on April 11 in Chicago and Minneapolis.

Getting onto the next-generation wireless network will cost you an extra $10 a month (with the first three months free) on top of your normal unlimited plan.

The launch marks the debut of Verizon’s legitimate, industry standards-based network. Late last year, Verizon proclaimed that with a newly launched home broadband service it was first to 5G, but critics noted it used a proprietary standard that didn’t fall in line with what everyone else was using.

Customers with a Moto Z phone can preorder a 5G Moto Mod for $50 (regular price is $350) on Thursday — it’s an accessory that snaps onto the Moto Z and lets it connect to the 5G network. And customers who order the accessory that day can get a Moto Z if they activate a new line of service on a Verizon device payment plan.

“Continuing our track record of 5G ‘firsts,’ we are thrilled to bring the first 5G-upgradeable smartphone exclusively to Verizon customers,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer, in a release.

The first 5G-ready phone will be the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which debuts next month, although you may want to hold off for a bit. Meanwhile, lots of other companies are getting their 5G phones ready to go.

Verizon plans to launch the service in 30 cities this year, CEO Hans Vestberg told investors in February, but didn’t specify which cities.

First published March 13 at 4:25 a.m. PT.
Update at 5:10 a.m. PT: Adds more details.


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