Verizon Looking for Initial 5G Deployment in 2017

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If you thought 4G LTE was fast, wait until you get a taste of 5G. That’s the next logical step for wireless networks, and many are slated to start pushing theirs out after 2020. Of course, loads of testing need to be done first, before customers will get a chance to check it out. Like with LTE when it first came out, there are likely to be some bumps in the road. Who remembers how often Verizon’s 4G LTE network went down when they were first building out LTE?

Currently there are some 5G Networks being tested in Asia, primarily in South Korea. But Verizon is looking to be the first in North America, with a commercial deployment – likely to be small for obvious reasons – aimed at a 2017 date. According to Verizon’s Chief information and technology architect, Roger Gurnani, the carrier is looking to do some field trials with 5G over the next we months. Now that 2017 date for some level of “commercial deployment” is much earlier than what industry analysts had thought. Many thought it’d be closer to 2020, before we see the adoption of 5G.

We’ve heard other carriers talking about 5G in recent months, but Verizon is in the best spot to get started first. Their competitors gain an advantage by letting Verizon be first. As they can see all the issues they are having with 5G and take steps to fix it. With LTE, T-Mobile was dead last at starting their network, but overall they were the fastest to get theirs rolled out, steamrolling past Sprint in the process. The same thing is likely going to happen with 5G. Speeds of 5G are said to be 30 to 50 times faster than what Verizon’s current LTE network outputs. And that’s according to Verizon’s field tests. However, 5G Network speeds are actually defined as 2Gbps. Now that’s fast! Google Fiber isn’t even that fast. Of course, these are theoretical speeds, and you’ll likely never see those kinds of speeds, unfortunately.

Outside of the faster data speeds, 5G brings in some other advantages over LTE. One of those being ping, or latency. As CNET points out, a surgeon in Tokyo could be performing surgery live on Periscope and it would be real time in New York City. That’s pretty crazy, right? We’ve still got about two years before we see any kind of 5G coming from Verizon, but it’s definitely exciting to start thinking about.