Verizon CEO: US Commercial 5G Starts in 2017

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.)

Want to know more about 5G? Check out our 5G channel here on Light Reading.

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.

Related posts:

  • Verizon & Partners to Field Test 5G in 2016
  • 5G: Verizon's New Home Invasion?
  • Is This the 5G You're Looking For?
  • Sprint: 5G in the US After 2020?

    — Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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    DanJones 12/23/2015 | 9:35:15 PM
    Re: Not really 5G! Yes, it's no secret that Verizon is lacking in spectrum, they alluded to it on their last conference call. They'll have to buy 600MHz spectrum and continue doing spectrum deals though. It's highly unlikely that 28GHz spectrum will be available to them in 2020. And even if it was? So what? The crunch is on the LTE and 3G networks.

    Adding a new network won't fix that. You don't switch a 100M+ subscriber base to 5G devices overnight, assuming the devices are even available in good numbers and at cheap enough costs to entice people.

    They might well get a waiver to try out 28GHz in say a city in 2016, but that will be a test system. They're talking about deploying what they call 5G in 2017 not 2020. What will that be? Dunno yet. We'll have to see won't we? 
    TV Monitor 12/23/2015 | 10:01:28 AM
    Re: Not really 5G! Dan Jones

    Samsung/ETRI 5G will be ready for a commercial deployment in 2020 and onward. After all, Samsun/ETRI system will enter commercial service in Korea by 2020. 5G represents a 10X boost in data capacity that Verizon needs desperately.


    Analysts: Verizon could run out of network capacity in 2-3 years

    In a research report, analysts at New Street Research said that based on management comments, they estimate that if data growth continues at the current pace, Verizon will run out of capacity in the next two to three years, even if it refarms all 2G and 3G spectrum. "Densification may delay the crunch by a year or two, but sooner or later the company will need more spectrum," said analysts Jonathan Chaplin, Spencer Kurn and Vivek Stalam. And if the much anticipated OTT offering is successful, "it will only exacerbate this," they said.
    DanJones 12/23/2015 | 4:48:21 AM
    Re: Not really 5G! Did you even read what I wrote? 28GHz is not going to be ready to use in the US anytime soon.
    TV Monitor 12/23/2015 | 4:39:14 AM
    Re: Not really 5G! Dan Jones

    You cannot compare Fake 5G(ie LTE-A Pro) with True 5G(ie Samsung 28 Ghz system), the peak throughput difference is in order of 10 times.

    Carriers will be running out of bandwidth sooner or later, and adding more LTE capacity is not the fundamental solution; deploying 5G networks is because it increases capacity by 10 times over the Fake 5G. So the carrier adaptation of 5G is inevitable, it is a matter of when, not if.

    In the US, the FCC has decided that the 5G will be in 28/39 Ghz, and if only Samsung can supply 28/39 Ghz 5G baseband station equipment, then so be it. Networks cannot wait for other vendors to catch up to Samsung and are running out of bandwidth fast, as soon as starting in 2017.
    DanJones 12/22/2015 | 10:12:11 PM
    Re: Not really 5G! You've kind of missed the point of the "5G Pretenders" article and why Verizon can't deploy true 5G in your rush to rep Samsung as the one true holder of the 5G ring. Let's run this down, shall we?

    You could perfectly well  be right. The FCC will grant Verizon a special waiver to test the Samsung system at 28GHz in some limited locations in 2016 in the US. A Samsung test system will be ready no doubt.

    Verizon will also test Nokia and Ericsson at whatever test frequencies they are at now. As they said they would. They will be limited tests.

    That matters not at all. The commercial spectrum at 28GHz in the US WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE for 5G deployment in early 2017, which is when Verizon says they want to start "5G" deployment .

    Verizon and AT&T don't plan on deployment of LTE in the AWS-3 spectrum they got at auction in 2015 til 2018! It takes a couple of years to move onto new spectrum at best.

    The FCC is currently looking at 28/39GHz as an action paper. There's no auction planned as yet. They're not likely to hold one in 2016 with the 600MHz happening as well.

    Verizon, NYU Wireless etc. have had comments in with the FCC since Jan on the higher frequency proposal. The FCC is obviously interested in the prospects of opening the bands. But it's a govt. agency, the moves from proposal to reality tend to go really slowly.

    Given the elections, changes at the FCC etc., I would guess that 2018 *might* make sense for 28GHz auctions, that's a conservative estimate.

    Which means, 28GHz MIGHT be available for deployment in 2020 on an extremely aggressive timeline. 2021-2 might be much more likely. THIS IS GUESSWORK AT THIS POINT. But given how previous auctions have gone, timing could also really drag. Look at how long the military took to cede AWS to T-Mobile.

    Therefore, Verizon is going to HAVE to deploy whatever is calling "5G" in spectrum it has available now in 2017 (AWS-3? Possible.) It can't do it at 28GHz because the FCC has not allowed that yet and the process takes a few years at least at best.

    Therefore, whatever Verizon chooses to deploy in 2017 will be "pre-5G" at the very best, whether or not Samsung is one of their chosen suppliers, at least in part because it won't be at 28GHz.

    P.S. The idea of Samsung potentially being single supplier of "5G" equipment to Verizon is flipping  ridiculous as well. When has a major US carrier EVER picked a single supplier for a major network rollout? They will choose at least one other supplier as well.

    Merry Christmas,

    Dan :-)



    DanJones 12/22/2015 | 8:56:48 AM
    Re: Not really 5G! Microsoft Support Why would it be cheaper?
    jaochan 12/22/2015 | 6:09:49 AM
    Re: Not really 5G! Microsoft Support Can't wait to use it. I hope it should be cheaper as  well.
    TV Monitor 12/21/2015 | 8:43:54 PM
    Re: Not really 5G! Dan Jones

    Samsung/ETRI is the only one with an operational 28/39 Ghz system. The rest are tested in either stationary or at walking speed conditions.

    If US carriers sans Sprint(Which intends to deploy TD-LTE+ in 2.5 Ghz band) want to deploy 5G in 28/39 Ghz spectrum as intended by the FCC, then Samsung/ETRI is the only possible option in 2020. There are no other 28/39 Ghz options. 
    DanJones 12/21/2015 | 4:54:50 PM
    Re: Not really 5G! They've said using Samsung, yes, as well as Ericsson, Nokia etc for tests. And Verizon is backing what the FCC has been proposing for a while anyway. Samsung is not the only interested in high GHz buy any means.
    TV Monitor 12/21/2015 | 4:10:11 PM
    Re: Not really 5G! Verizons is going high-band 5G first, in other word, the Samsung 5G system. And Dan Jones still thinks that Samsung will sell its network division and get out when all signs point to Samsung doing to Nokia and Ericsson in network equipment business what it did in handset business in about 5 years.


    Verizon's McAdam lobbies for LTE-U, higher spectrum bands for 5G
    December 21, 2015 | By Monica Alleven

    Verizon (NYSE: VZ) Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam paid a visit to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's office last week where he urged the commission to act quickly to make spectrum bands above 24 GHz available for mobile broadband. 

    "Verizon agrees with the Commission's primary proposal to grant flexible use rights to existing terrestrial licensees in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands and to auction the FCC held licenses," the filing states.
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