Verizon Communications will test faster fifth-generation mobile broadband service in 11 markets in the first half of this year as the nation's largest wireless carrier tries to take the lead in the 5G race. "Delivering 5G to these pilot customers is an important step in assessing the business model and customer experience for delivering wireless broadband via 5G".
Verizon hasn't said how fast the 5G trial networks will be, but a Verizon video about tests of the technology showed speed readouts over 3Gbps.
5G enable devices are now being manufactured according to the release along with chipsets and infrastructure products. But according to Verizon, its 5GTF partners (Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung) are close to commercializing the necessary infrastructure and chipsets necessary to bring 5G compatibility to consumers.
Industry groups have not yet finished establishing all of the technical standards to allow 5G gear to interact, so Verizon will rely on its own preliminary standards effort, known as the Verizon 5G Technology Forum. These frequencies, much higher than the ones used for cellular service today, need a new generation of radios and antennas to overcome what would naturally be very short range.
The service won't be focused on mobile; rather it will be used to deploy fixed wireless and gigabit internet speeds to homes.
Verizon's initial goal will be to offer 5G to pilot customers in Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Along with Verizon, both AT&T and Google Fiber have also been experimenting with fixed wireless and 5G technologies to advance their networks.