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Verizon Wants To Build First 5G Network In The U.S.

After being the first wireless carrier in the U.S. to widely deploy 4G LTE technology, Verizon is striving to be the first to launch a 5G network as well.

The 5G technology is expected to arrive after 2020, but Verizon will begin trials as early as next year with some of its hardware and networking equipment partners. Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung were all part of the "Verizon 5G Technology Forum," which launched last month. There, the companies established working groups to ensure an aggressive pace for researching and developing the 5G technology.

The first 5G network "sandboxes" are being created in Verizon's Waltham, Mass., and San Francisco Innovation Centers. Verizon hopes that by collaborating in a shared environment, 5G applications will arrive sooner.

“5G is no longer a dream of the distant future," said Roger Gurnani, executive vice president and chief information and technology architect for Verizon. “We feel a tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G and mobilize the ecosystem by collaborating with industry leaders and developers to usher in a new generation of innovation."

The 5G networks are expected to handle not just 50 times the throughput of 4G technology, but also "exponentially more Internet-connected devices," especially as the "Internet of Everything" market is expected to explode over the next few years. Many of those devices will be connected directly to the Internet, so wireless networks will have to handle all of them.

To compare the current progress of 5G to 4G, Verizon started a 10-cell 4G network sandbox around Boston in 2008, then the first 4G LTE data call was made in 2009, and in December 2010, Verizon launched its 4G network covering 39 major metropolitan areas and more than 60 airports.

Going by that rate of progress, we can assume that if the first 5G network sandboxes will be built next year, then sometime in 2019 we could see the first 5G network launch in the U.S. Of course, it will be a few more years until most people are covered, just as it took five years for 4G LTE to cover 98 percent of  the U.S. population.

According to Verizon, even if its focus is now on deploying 5G as soon as possible, the company will continue to improve its 4G network and launch new products on it.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • TechyInAZ
    Looks cool! Eventually companies like Verizon will start offering serious competition for internet companies. :)
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    1G, 2G, 3G, 4G,5G mean absolutely nothing these days. They are just protocols with max theoretical speeds. But most areas never have enough internet bandwidth backbone to their towers to deliver the current speeds.

    So unless 5G can deliver more bandwidth per signal strength or more range, it really means nothing without more bandwidth to the towers.
    Reply
  • KevinS200
    16596194 said:
    1G, 2G, 3G, 4G,5G mean absolutely nothing these days. They are just protocols with max theoretical speeds. But most areas never have enough internet bandwidth backbone to their towers to deliver the current speeds.

    So unless 5G can deliver more bandwidth per signal strength or more range, it really means nothing without more bandwidth to the towers.
    PREACH!
    Reply
  • r0b0t2k
    @TechyinAZ not exactly, depending on what you use the internet for mobile data will probably still be a long way from seriously competing with land line service. The biggest detractor of mobile data being latency. Wireless data is typically more latent delivering packets this is because the physical medium in this case Radio Waves deals in a lot of uncertainties. And so re-transmission of packets happen regularly causing increased latency. There is also inherient design choices that will slow down packet delievery, like TDMA (Time Divsion Multiple Access) where radio resource is use in sort of a round robin scenario. Slow picking up data from all the towers connected devices. Long story short there are too many variables keeping wireless from competeing with land line service, especially if you do anything time sensitive, like Gaming, Cven VOIP can suffer, but they are getting better about making sure VOIP services work and get priority. Now if your just downloading a file or watching a movie on Netflix then mobile will be fine as long as the bandwidth is there, because a small number of packet drops or re-transmits wont be the end of the world.
    Reply
  • Daniel Ladishew
    I hope 5G leads to real "unlimited" data plans, like the nearly universal unlimited text and minutes we enjoy now. When you have to pay full price for a cell phone, plus the expensive plan monthly charges, having to pay an additional fee for the amount of data you pull down feels like customer wallet gouging.
    Reply
  • AdviserKulikov
    What Verizon really wants to do is put out a 5G network before the international standards organizations get around to declaring what 5G actually is. Carriers have done this each generation, putting out 2G, 3G and 4G in a rush with no standards applied (Although not much noise was made about 2G).
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    I hope 5G leads to real "unlimited" data plans, like the nearly universal unlimited text and minutes we enjoy now. When you have to pay full price for a cell phone, plus the expensive plan monthly charges, having to pay an additional fee for the amount of data you pull down feels like customer wallet gouging.

    That could be the case, but by that time there will be additional features that we will use that will cost extra money.
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    We are still using glorified 3G or 3.9G. Still waiting for 4G first. When 5G comes out it will just be 4G on steroids for 10 years before proper 5G becomes reality.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    And charge how much...?
    Reply
  • Jung
    Looks cool! Eventually companies like Verizon will start offering serious competition for internet companies. :)
    Heh, yeah, but it would cost a fortune to use it.
    Reply