Verizon, America’s largest wireless provider says despite its efforts in testing 5G networks and plans to deploy it in 2017, LTE (Long Term Evolution) still has a future with the carrier and that they have no plans whatsoever to overhaul the technology. “5G is not a replacement for LTE, 5G is a strategic overlay on top of LTE going forward, and we believe LTE will be around for many years to come,” said Roger Gurnani, Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Technology Architect at Verizon. LTE is a dominant technology in most places around the globe and it still holds a brighter future ahead. While 5G will remain a fixed service when it fully launches in early 2017 as teased by Verizon, it will however, replace broadband technology and not a mobile service, at least for now.
Early this year, Verizon in partnership with Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung began testing 5G technology in the field and in the lab, and the result recorded a blistering speed of about 1.8 gigabits per second of fixed wireless speed. Though this test was mostly conducted in moving vehicles for smart city applications and connected cars, other use cases show that the majority of its application in real world will be fixed. These tech partners have reached to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to get a special authority on temporary basis that will allow them to test some equipment in the 28 GHz band in respect to evaluation and testing the 5G technology. The demand for LTE technology usage is still on the rise as Verizon confirmed that its network carries the same amount of data in one hour as it did in a week a decade ago. Verizon expects this trend to continue as it keeps adding more capacity every year.
Back in the days, CDMA technology which was pioneered by Qualcomm was successfully replaced by LTE when it launched. One of the reasons why the LTE has a brighter future ahead is that to date, Verizon in collaboration with Qualcomm, continues to work on and improve this technology by expanding it to LTE-Advanced, LTE-I, and LAA. LTE also plays a big role in Verizon's plans for IoT. Verizon has been expressing interest in IoT technology which will be powered by its 5G network and last month, the company agreed to acquire a smart lighting system startup, called Sensitivity Systems, which will use special sensors on lights to make them more economical and energy efficient. As an early adopter of most network technologies, Verizon invested billions of dollars to have LTE technology deployed and the company does not want to replace this all at once, but it will invest in next generation technology and keep both the LTE and 5G tech in order to remain relevant and competitive in the market.