Verizon has today announced that it will begin offering pre-commercial 5G services to select customers in 11 US markets as part of a pilot test during the first half of this year. Verizon has additionally now named those 11 markets as Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Beyond the confirmation that these areas will be the first to be included in the company's pilot 5G testing phase, Verizon has yet to provide firmer details on when the rollout will begin or in what order, if any.
As Verizon points out in the announcement post on the matter, this is an important step in the development of their 5G network and will provide Verizon (as well as their customers) with insight into how Verizon's 5G network performs in more of a real-world situation. Verizon notes, this is the "largest proving ground in the world" and that it will include the employment of "several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations."
Of course, Verizon is not alone in pushing forward with 5G and in all respects, the race to 5G is very firmly on. AT&T very recently announced their next 5G step in the form of '5G evolution' and its wider Network 3.0 (Indigo). This will also see AT&T rolling out pre-release 5G services to select areas, although at present, AT&T's list seems to be far fewer than what Verizon has announced today. Which seems to be in line with comments made in today's announcement post which looked to reiterate that Verizon intends to be the first carrier in the US to roll out the next-generation wireless technology. Verizon explains that with the evolution of 5G happening so quickly, coupled with recent moves by the FCC, have led to now being the right time "to deliver the next generation of broadband services with 5G." Along with the announcement post, Verizon has also released a short video which further explains Verizon's current 5G developments, as well as more details on today's announced pilot expansion. Those interested can check out the newly-released video in full, below.