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.
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."
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, , Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading