Verizon's CEO says that the operator is ready to start testing 5G wireless technology early in 2016 with initial commercial deployments starting in 2017.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam -- speaking at a Business Insider event in New York -- says that initial demonstrations will take place at the company's Basking Ridge, N.J. headquarters early next year. Limited pilots with select partners and users will then roll out in San Francisco, New York, and Boston in 2016.
McAdam says Verizon will start commercial deployment of 5G in 2017. He expects downloads for compatible smartphones to hit up to 1 Gbit/s, or 200 times faster than today's 4G services, the CEO claims.
Verizon is working with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Samsung Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) on 5G. Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson told Light Reading in October that he expects to provide Verizon with "pre-5G" equipment for early tests. (See Ericsson CTO: Artificial Intelligence Will Make 5G Smarter.)
Verizon's stated schedule for 5G is very aggressive, with deployments planned even ahead of the 2020 timescale that most in the industry had accepted as the earliest start point for the new wireless services. The 5G specification is not yet defined and is expected to be completed in two phases, with proofs of concept slated for 2018 by carriers like NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM).
Nonetheless, the Verizon CEO insisted that Verizon is ahead of the 5G curve. "I showed my board the service in November... you don't ever go to a board with something that's not real," he reportedly said at the event.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading