Verizon's 5G Broadband Goes Into Testing by Mid-2017 in 11 Markets

Melba UnderwoodFeb 23, 2017

The company announced Wednesday a plan to rollout the next-generation network to select customers in 11 cities across the U.S.

Telecommunications giant Verizon announced Wednesday that it will begin pilot testing of 5G technology in eleven US cities during the first half of this year.

Lab tests of pre-standard 5G wireless with multi-gigabit speeds are evolving into trial services that users can actually enjoy in the real world - though not necessarily while walking around with a smartphone. While 5G is still in the early stages of development, wireless carriers are banking heavily on the tech. 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). Samsung's 5G Access Units, installed throughout a city's business and residential neighborhoods, will link radio signals to a virtualized core network that is set up within Verizon's data centers. The 5GTF partners are "well on their way" to commercializing chipsets, infrastructure products, and consumer devices based on the 5GTF specification, according to the operator. Select customers should expect to be able to test the network in the first half of 2017.

According to Adam Koeppe, Verizon's vice president of network planning, next-generation wireless technologies received a boost with the Federal Communication Commission's "aggressive action on 5G spectrum" a year ago.

Verizon is just one of several carriers pushing forward with 4G LTE networks.

The 5G trials involve innovative network systems, including the use of 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum and advanced beam-forming antenna technology.

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