It wasn’t that long ago when “4G” marked the latest and fastest data speeds for your smartphone or tablet. However, now that more than 98 percent of the U.S. population has access to 4G networks, the race is on to unleash the next-generation — or “5G” — by 2020.
The nation’s largest wireless provider, Verizon, said on Monday it would start field trials next year of 5G technology, which offers a 50-fold increase in data capability over current networks.
“5G is no longer a dream of the distant future,” said Roger Gurnani, executive vice president and chief information and technology architect for Verizon. “We feel a tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G and mobilize the ecosystem by collaborating with industry leaders and developers to usher in a new generation of innovation.”
5G technology should be introduced in the U.S. sometime after 2020, but Verizon said it is accelerating the “expected rate of innovation.”
Verizon said it plans to work with partners to launch field technology trials next year. Verizon, along with Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung have established working teams “to ensure an aggressive pace of innovation.”
5G network environments, or “sandboxes,” are being created in Verizon’s Waltham, Mass., and San Francisco Innovation Centers. “Just like in the early days of the development of 4G LTE technology, collaborating in a shared environment will foster compelling applications faster,” Verizon said.
Verizon’s vision: “The expected benefits of 5G … include about 50 times the throughput of current 4G LTE, latency in the single milliseconds, and the ability to handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices to accommodate the expected explosion of the Internet of Everything.”