The telecom industry has yet to define exactly what 5G means, but that’s not stopping Verizon from moving the fifth generation of mobile networks through the pipeline. In keeping with its 2015 promise, the telecom giant announced at Mobile World Congress that it has already begun testing hardware for its 5G technology.
While most mobile carriers are aiming to launch a 5G network in 2020, Verizon is taking a much more aggressive approach. The company has partnered with Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Qualcomm and Samsung to conduct testing of its 5G technology throughout 2016, with the goal of bringing 5G to market in 2017. According to Verizon’s SVP Ed Chan, the telecom giant is testing 5G “in several test beds that represent real-world environments.” Last year, the company revealed that initial testing was set to take place in research labs just outside Boston and San Francisco.
The specific capabilities of the 5G networks remain mostly under wraps, but there are a few indicators of how the network could perform. Last fall, Verizon stated that its 5G network will have 50 times the capacity of 4G. Early tests proved 5G could operate at speeds up to 40 times faster than 4G. The company claims that the 5G network will be able to transfer data at “multiple gigabits per second speeds and single-millisecond latency.” Verizon also expects that its 5G technology will “handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices.”
While Verizon is fast-tracking commercialization of 5G, it’s not the first time that the company has gotten the jump on the competition. Verizon was the first carrier to roll out a 4G network back in 2010.
Earlier this month, AT&T also revealed plans to begin testing 5G this year.[The Verge]
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