Carrier says it feels a 'tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G' and is planning to field test the technology with partners next year.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

September 8, 2015

3 Min Read
Verizon & Partners to Field Test 5G in 2016

Verizon has put a big stake in the ground for 5G, committing to launch field trials of the next-generation network with its partners in 2016.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) feels a "tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G and mobilize the ecosystem," according to the carrier's executive vice president and chief information and technology architect, Roger Gurnani. It wants to lead in 5G as it did with 4G LTE. That's why the carrier plans to join forces with its partners to begin technology field trials next year.

Those partners include Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and Samsung Corp. .

Led by Verizon, the companies kicked off a 5G Technology Forum last month where they established working teams to "ensure an aggressive pace of innovation" on 5G. They are all working in 5G network environments that Verizon calls sandboxes in its Waltham, Mass., and San Francisco Innovation Centers to build 5G apps. Verizon says the Forum will also include support from US-based venture capital groups focused on emerging technologies. (See Network Slicing Key to Nokia's 5G Framework and Verizon Builds Driverless Cars Their Own City.)

"Each partner is a leader, but together we represent more than $50 billion in annual research, development and technology investments and thousands of patents," Gurnani said in a prepared statement. "Collectively we are bringing to bear an incredible amount of resources and intellectual capital to introduce the next generation of wireless technology."

For more on 5G, visit the dedicated 5G section here on Light Reading.

While the US -- and Verizon, specifically -- was the leader for LTE network development, most of the impetus behind 5G has come from Asian operators. By working together and starting early, Verizon is hoping it can bring 5G innovation back to the US. (See Verizon Trumpets Network Densification Plans and Q&A: SK Telecom Talks All Things 5G.)

Commercial 5G deployments are expected across the globe after 2020, but Gurnani tells CNet he expects some level of commercial deployment to begin in the US in 2017. In South Korea, commercial networks are expected in time for the 2018 Olympics. (See 5G: Meet the Influencers and You Can't Spell 5G Without LTE.)

5G promises to bring about 50 times the throughput of LTE, extremely low latency and the bandwidth necessary to support mobility and the Internet of Things across industry verticals. Importantly, it should also enable new business models to justify the expense of the new network. (See Lines Get Drawn in Road to 5G, 5G: What Is It & Why Does It Matter? and Heavy Reading Q&A: Getting to the Heart of 5G .)

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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