With the 101st running of the Indy 500 scheduled for next Sunday, America’s largest wireless carrier, Verizon, and Swedish telecom equipment major, Ericsson, have announced a partnership to run trials of their 5G wireless technology in association with chipmaker Intel at a house near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The test will be conducted on May 26th – a day before the actual event and, according to the joint press statement released by Verizon and Ericsson earlier today, a demo will be livestreamed on Facebook on May 24 at 1:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. The livestream will be in 360-degree Virtual Reality and, shot in 4K resolution. The house in Speedway, Indiana, from which the trials will be conducted, will have a gateway based on Intel’s 5G Mobile Trial Platform, the press released said.
5G is expected to bring a sea-change to the world of wireless connectivity with speeds up to 100 times faster than anything that has been commercially deployed up until now. However, it’s not just the speeds that are expected to go up astronomically with the new technology. Even latency – or ping times – are expected to come down with 5G if the reports are anything to go by. Verizon and Ericsson also say that they have demoed 5G inside vehicles moving at over 60 miles per hour, recording “sustained” speeds of over 6.4Gbps. According to the press release, the test setup included Ericsson’s advanced radio antenna and, made use of a technology called ‘beam tracking’ which helps network operators send information more directly at specific targets, thereby increasing speeds and lowering latency.
5G, of course, has been a big talking point in tech circles over the past couple of years, and although the technology isn’t expected to see mass commercial deployment any time soon, companies from Intel to Qualcomm, Verizon to T-Mobile and Ericsson to Nokia, have all hopped on the bandwagon, hoping to derive maximum mileage out of the public interest in the subject. While Verizon has promised to deploy its own flavor of 5G commercially before the end of this year, competitors like T-Mobile have dismissed it as little more than a publicity stunt. That’s because the industry is yet to come up with a standardized definition for 5G, although, many expect the 5G NR (5G New Radio) standard to be widely adopted going forward. It will certainly be interesting to see what 3GPP does to bring all the diverse factions together to hasten the formulation of a standardized definition of 5G.