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Verizon’s 5G Tests Blast Through Gigabit Barrier

April 21, 2016 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Have you ever wished you could download a game from the Play Store with over a gigabyte of extra data required for gameplay and jump right into it within, say, six seconds of hitting the download button? If your device is somehow on Verizon’s limited 5G testing network, that’s exactly what you can do. Despite the lack of agreed-upon standard for exactly what does and doesn’t formally qualify as 5G, carriers have been testing their next-generation networks in preparation for deployment by 2020, in most cases. Verizon, in particular, began testing the earliest, risking getting some serious egg on their face in order to get the most time in they possibly could with testing their new network in the hopes of rolling out the soonest out of all of the major U.S. carriers.

For all of the complications, red tape and naysayers, it seems that Verizon’s 5G testing has produced some powerful results. 1 gigabit, an internet speed thought of as top of the line in landline networks, was blown straight past using local airwaves by Verizon’s 5G testing rig. Verizon’s VP of technology planning, Adam Koeppe, spoke to our source, Light Reading, about how the field trials of 5G were getting on. According to Koeppe, Verizon’s tests in trial markets have been focusing on very low bands of spectrum, such as 28GHz and 64GHz, and using equipment from the likes of Ericsson, Samsung and Nokia.

Verizon apparently won’t be putting the network to use in the mobile world at first, opting instead to use it for fixed wireless applications until the FCC can get the standard straightened out and give authorization on more uses and more usable spectrum. One of the bigger challenges that Verizon has faced on the technical side, shrinking down their 5G equipment to portable and easily deployable sizes, is another big reason that, initially, mobile users won’t get a taste of their 5G network. Things like home services and wide-area networks for universities, businesses and the like will be first on the list. Once the FCC begins reallocating spectrum and writing new rules about its use, Verizon will likely begin to look to the mobile space for 5G use cases.