Verizon, T-Mobile, Intel Make Big 5G Announcements For Mobile World Congress Americas

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We've come a long way with 4G LTE over the past few years, but it's time for a new wireless standard to take its place. That means that technology companies are gearing up for 5G wireless, and the first networks are scheduled to become operational late this year and early next year.

Verizon, T-Mobile and Intel are all making announcements today surrounding 5G with the former two touting their ability to deliver the high-speed wireless standard to the masses. For its part, Verizon is claiming that its position as the United States' largest wireless carrier positions it to become the leader in 5G wireless as well.

Verizon claims that it has leadership in three key areas, 1) a large amount of spectrum holdings, especially with regards to millimeter wave bands, 2) end-to-end "deep fiber" resources, and 3) the capacity to deploy an incredible number of small cells.

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The company says that it will claim leadership in 5G thanks to 28GHz and 39GHz licenses that it purchased last year along with millimeter wave spectrum licenses. Its purchase of XO Communications also means that it has brought on another 1.2 million miles of fiber routes to its already massive network, and it has a $1.1 billion agreement in place with Corning to further expand its fiber footprint. Verizon also says that it is working with state, city, and local governments to blanket major markets with "fiber-fed" small cells.

For its part, T-Mobile says that it has invested another $3.5 billion into 5G thanks to an agreement with Ericsson. Ericsson will be providing T-Mobile with 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and 3GPP-compatible software. This is in addition to the $3.5 billion 5G agreement that T-Mobile inked with Nokia back in July.

“While the other guys just make promises, we’re putting our money where our mouth is. With this new Ericsson agreement we’re laying the groundwork for 5G – and with Sprint we can supercharge the 5G revolution," said Neville Ray, T-Mobile's Chief Technology Officer.

As for Intel, the company will be talking up its efforts in 5G starting at 2PM EST with a "5G Progress Report" livestream. Intel's Sandra Rivera, SVP of the Network Platforms Group will host guests from AT&T, Ericsson, Fox Innovation Lab, Nokia, Fox Sports and Warner Bros to discuss the future of 5G and it will affect consumers, business, and content providers.

5G is expected to leapfrog 4G LTE in terms of overall speed and will offer lower latency, better reliability and higher capacity to handle the growing numbers of connected devices being added to the nation's wireless networks. By Verizon's estimation, we'll see 5G networks offering peak download speeds of 5Gbps with uploads hovering in the 500Mbps range.