Fans and journalists alike turn to Mobile World Congress (MWC) every year to witness the latest gadgets and innovations from some of the world’s largest tech companies. This year’s MWC proved no different, as we’ve seen several new devices launch from some of the most prominent handset makers in the world. It’s important to remember, however, that the event isn’t exclusive to just gadgets, but also the technology that powers and supplements the new hardware. The world’s leading carrier networks always have a large presence at the conference, divulging their latest network innovations to the public while also sharing insight into new and developing technologies. Verizon, in particular, went into great detail about their progress in preparing their network for “5G” speeds. The company claims to have made significant headway in developing the new technology, so much so that their customers might be seeing 5G speeds much sooner than anticipated.
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Verizon claims that field tests for “5G” technologies are already taking place with assistance from members of their 5G Technology Forum. The forum (which Verizon established last year) consists of several prominent leaders within the tech industry, including such high-profile names as Samsung, Apple, Intel, Qualcomm, and LG. Verizon’s partners have lent their expertise in the company’s ongoing development, helping to create the necessary technologies needed to make 5G speeds possible. In addition, Verizon claims that they and the other forum members have already found early success in the trial phases, making a strong case that the high-speed technology is nearly ready for commercialization.
Verizon’s enthusiasm to enter the realm of 5G isn’t surprising given the network’s history. The company was the second U.S. network to deploy 4G LTE commercially (behind MetroPCS, now owned by T-Mobile), aggressively expanding their footprint in the early years of the technology. Their success proved to be highly influential within the wireless industry, coaxing most of their largest competitors to quickly extend their own LTE footprints and leading to a proliferation of the standard throughout the country. Their development of a 5G network could produce a similar effect in bringing widespread 5G coverage to consumers much earlier than anticipated.
It’s important to remember that Verizon (even by their own admission) remains firmly in the “testing” phase of their 5G development, meaning that there’s no clear timetable for when customers might actually see the technology themselves. Additionally, at least some of Verizon’s largest competitors remain skeptical as to how much progress they’ve actually made in these early stages. Despite those reservations, the company clearly intends to continue their aggressive push towards 5G, potentially bringing the technology to customers sooner rather than later.