Verizon Says Its Fixed 5G Will Arrive in 2018, Mobile in 2020

A Verizon executive said Monday that the operator's home-brewed fixed 5G service will get up in running in 2018 but that he doesn't expect true mobile 5G to arrive until 2020.

John Stratton, executive vice president and president of operations for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), talking at the Deutsche Bank 25th Annual Media & Telecom Conference in Florida, said that Verizon will deliver fixed 5G in 2018. It is working on customer trials in 11 US cities now. (See Verizon Fixed 5G Tests to Top 3Gbit/s? and Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April.)

Stratton promised a "meaningful commercial deployment of 5G" in 2018 from Verizon. He was cagey about what exact services the fixed system will provide, but it seems clear that a wireless alternative to cable/DSL services is high on Verizon's priority list.

"The way we're thinking about 5G... the ability to leverage the full scale of our business is an important factor," Stratton added.

The customer trials, Stratton says, will allow Verizon to better understand the signal propagation characteristics of the fixed 5G system and "the load per node." Verizon has previously said that it has been testing at ranges of up to 1,500 feet in diverse environments for its fixed option.

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Stratton says the tests will help Verizon establish the cost of deployment and how much it should charge for the 5G service. "Where 5G works best is in those places that are most densely populated," Stratton said, suggesting that big cities will be first to get 5G zones.

Interestingly, Verizon isn't one of the operators pushing to deliver true mobile 5G in 2019, despite sprinting ahead with its home-developed fixed option. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) will this week decide whether to approve plans to accelerate the development of the 5G New Radio (NR) specifications, which could allow operators to launch commercial services as soon as 2019, but Verizon does not support the move. (See Telefónica's Blanco: 5G NR 'Acceleration' Is 'Big Mistake'.)

"We think that's a little bit optimistic, to be honest," said Stratton. He noted that the market will need to be "seeded" with compatible handsets for starters.

Stratton states that "early deployments" will start late in 2019, or into 2020.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

COMMENTS Add Comment
PublicEd48830 7/12/2017 | 1:56:11 AM
Re: Fixed 5G ("wireless fiber") is needed now, mobile in the future http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/691462

We as humans may deserve what we are getting but our children, victims of assault and battery by the exponential increase in microwaves in our environment don't.  they will suffer neurological problems, reproductive problems, early alzheimers, blood brain barrier damage, genotoxic damage and cancer because of the satanic greed of the tech industry that considers human and animal life last if at all in their list of priorities.  the international community of scientists, doctors, agencies and organizations that are screaming for recognition of this impending holocaust is to numerous to list in this comment section but i urge you to think about the presence of 5 small cell antenna installations on every city block--in front of your house.  how do you feel about that??  This is an end game for civilization.  Global warming??  Wireless technology uses more energy than any other industry on the planet.  more information / http://www.wirelesswatchblog.org/science

drwireless 3/8/2017 | 1:28:17 PM
Fixed 5G ("wireless fiber") is needed now, mobile in the future This makes sense as there is a real need even today to connect many enterprises and businesses that don't have access to high-speed fiber. Offering multi-gigabit "wireless fiber" (e.g., using mmWave) will benefit these enterprises greatly. Multi-gigabit 5G mobile service will take some time (2020-2025) as new demanding applications emerge (e.g., 4K VR, V2X). Jacob Sharony, Ph.D., Mobius Consulting
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