Verizon has been saying for a few months now that they will be first to deploy a 5G network – at least in the United States. They have also said they will have a 5G network up at their New Jersey headquarters by the end of January, which is a little over a week away, and begin deploying it in key markets by the end of 2016. 5G is slated to deliver much faster speeds compared to what we have today, and also be the solution to the Internet of Things issue that many believe we may face in the near future. Verizon was second to roll out 4G LTE, just a few months behind MetroPCS in 2010.
On Thursday, Verizon announced their fourth quarter earnings and also had their conference call later on in the morning. The company's CFO, Fran Shammo, continued on about 5G, stating that the carrier will be moving aggressively in deploying 5G. Shammo also stated that these technologies will be used in different ways. So we'll see it in other products outside of smartphones and tablets. Shammo continued by saying "we will be the first company to roll 5G out in the United States." He also stated that they are already preparing for field trials.
In regards to the FCC, Shammo is hoping that the commission will not delay in adopting rules for facilitating 5G deployment. He also hopes that the commission thinks about 5G in more than just mobile, as that is likely what 5G will be used in. Everything from your smart home to cameras, to anything that can connect to the internet. We are already starting to see that with all of these smart doorbells, smart light bulbs, smart thermostats and more.
While Verizon is still looking to roll out 5G later this year, we likely won't see 5G smartphones until the end of 2016 or even later. Unfortunately, the current crop of 4G LTE smartphones won't support the 5G network. Just as 3G smartphones didn't support 4G LTE. However, it wouldn't be too surprising to see Verizon only selling devices that had support for their 5G network in the next year or so.