The last time we visited Verizon Wireless’ efforts to bring 5G connectivity to Americans, the company had completed its 5G radio specification. This crucial step allowed the company to form guidelines for hardware that will be validated for use on its future 5G network.
Verizon began its own internal 5G wireless trials in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Texas last year, and today announced that those trials will extend to customers starting in mid-2017. The U.S. metropolitan areas that will be the first to gain access to the 5G pilot program include Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Verizon is able to makes these strides in 5G deployments thanks to a massive financial commitment and help from its 5G Technology Forum (5GTF) partners who include Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung.
In order to get a more complete look at how 5G signals will permeate throughout the country upon a wide-scale launch, Verizon is choosing a broad mix of rural and urban locations with differing building types to gauge signal strength and speeds. However, these initial trials will be fixed in nature — the company isn’t quite ready to being mobile trials at this time, which is to be expected considering that 5G service likely won’t see full commercially availability until the start of the next decade.
The fixed wireless trials will initially provide wireless broadband and VoIP services to customers. Customers will be given in-home (or in-business) 5G routers that will distribute connectivity to your devices either via Wi-Fi or via an Ethernet cable.
"The tremendous progress we have made with Verizon in commercializing 5G represents our companies' mutual focus on delivering the highest level of innovation to our customers," said Woojune Kim, Vice President of Next Generation Business Team for Samsung Electronics. "The 5G systems we are deploying will soon provide wireless broadband service to homes, enabling customers to experience cost-competitive, gigabit speeds that were previously only deliverable via fiber."
"5G technology innovation is rapidly evolving," said Adam Koeppe, Vice President of Network Planning for Verizon. "Network density is increasing to meet the demands of customers, and following the FCC's aggressive action on 5G spectrum, the time is right to deliver the next generation of broadband services with 5G."
It will be interesting to see what constant Verizon critic John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, has to say about the company’s latest efforts to advance 5G deployments. Back in July, Legere called Verizon’s timeline of beginning commercial deployments in 2017 “pure horseshit”, while T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said “Verizon [is] trying to move and say they’re going to be the first to 5G; it’s kinda BS to be honest.”