Between now and mid-year, Verizon expects to begin pilot tests of next-generation, 5G wireless services in 11 metropolitan regions across the U.S. Aimed at select customers in those regions, the tests will explore a variety of deployment scenarios.
Compared to today’s 4G technology, the next generation of wireless communication promises far faster speeds with lower latency and many times more network capacity. Those working to advance 5G say it will enable a wide range of new broadband services for entertainment, education, mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Launched in collaboration with its 5G Technical Forum (5GTF) partners, Verizon’s pre-commercial tests are set to take place in Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville, NJ, Brockton, MA, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Since launching the 5GTF in late 2015, Verizon has seen “an industry groundswell of support for 5G,” said Sanyogita Shamsunder, the company’s director of network infrastructure planning. Together with its forum partners, Verizon began early-stage testing of the technology last year.
Verizon’s 5GTF partners include Apple, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Samsung and Qualcomm.
“In this phase of the trial, we are going beyond the prototype equipment in exactly the configuration that we will be eventually building out our commercial network,” Shamsunder said. “We wanted to be able to test and understand the challenges as well as the opportunities in various geographies, various topographies, various building materials.”
Based on the specification developed by the 5GTF, Verizon said, forum partners are “well on their way to commercializing chipsets, infrastructure products and consumer devices” for the next generation of wireless broadband.
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Verizon is not the only wireless company testing 5G services in the U.S. AT&T last December claimed to have launched the nation’s first 5G business customer trial in Austin, TX, and it…