Today Verizon Wireless took a bold step for the wireless industry, announcing that they plan to begin field trials with 5G wireless service in 2016. According to their announcement, they expect 5G wireless connectivity to be capable of 50 times the throughput of the current 4G LTE networks or between 5GB/s and 10GB/s. They also expect “latency in the single milliseconds, and the ability to handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices.” From their announcement it’s not clear what technology this fifth generation wireless relies on, but it’s more likely than not that it will require a new network deployment (presumably requiring refarming of current spectrum on the low end of the network on the part of wireless carriers). That said, one of the major holders of LTE patents, Alcatel-Lucent (Nokia) is one of their major partners on this project.
Previous estimates said that 5G would be available to consumers starting in 2020 but Verizon is certainly improving upon that time scale with their announcement today. Their plan consists of working closely with a set of partners that they’re calling the Verizon 5G Technology Forum.
- Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung kicked-off the inaugural Verizon 5G Technology Forum last month, and have established working teams to ensure an aggressive pace of innovation.
- 5G network environments, or “sandboxes,” are being created in Verizon’s Waltham, Mass., and San Francisco Innovation Centers. Just like in the early days of the development of 4G LTE technology, collaborating in a shared environment will foster compelling applications faster.
- Verizon and its partners are committed to beginning technology field trials in 2016.Verizon
Now that Verizon has covered nearly their entire 3G footprint with 4G LTE, it only makes sense that they would start researching the ability to put themselves ahead of their competition even further.
I know a lot of us are less than fond of Verizon’s treatment of customers, but anyone willing to bring me those kinds of speeds to my cell might be getting a portion of my paycheck.