5G and Beyond

Verizon Plans to Offer Samsung 5G Phone in H1 2019

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) said Monday it is planning to launch a 5G smartphone from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) in the first half of 2019.

This is the first fully integrated 5G smartphone announced by Verizon. It has previously unveiled a 28GHz snap-on module that will support 5G connections for the Motorola z3, which is also expected early next year. (See Verizon's First 5G Mobile Device? It's a Snap! and Motorola Clips On 5G Phone Features.)

Verizon says it has worked closely with Samsung and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) on the device. The companies plan to show off a "proof of concept" of the smartphone at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui, Hawaii this week.

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The launch target helps to firm up timelines for Verizon's plans to switch to mobile 5G next year, as the Samsung phone is expected in the first half of the year. Verizon recently said it will offer 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards-based mobile 5G "sometime" next year. The operator launched its fixed wireless "5G Home" service using its own 5GTF specification in October: The operator says its current pre-standard 5G network will need a software upgrade to move to the mobile 5G New Radio standard. (See Verizon CFO Expects Mobile 5G Service 'Sometime' in 2019 and Verizon's Home-Grown 5G Arrives Today.)

Verizon hasn't yet announced any technical details of the new phone. It says, however, that the proof of concept will use a Snapdragon X50 modem and RF elements from Qualcomm. (See Qualcomm Unveils New Modules to Power Millimeter Wave 5G for Smartphones and Qualcomm: The First 5G Smartphone on Display?)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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