Verizon contracted Ericsson for commercial deployment of fixed-wireless 5G networks in 2018, the two companies announced earlier this week, adding that the project will be started and completed in the second half of the next year. The Stockholm, Sweden-based telecommunications firm will provide Verizon with a 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and a 5G Core network, with the move marking the first pre-standard 5G deployment in the country. Verizon is seeking to have Ericsson build out a fixed-wireless 5G network in order to be better prepared for a wider deployment of such solutions once the 3GPP concludes the process of defining the standard for the next generation of mobile networks.
Standards-based networks are scheduled to be commercialized in 2019 and companies that committed to advanced deployment are likely to be more capable of deploying 3GPP-compliant solutions in a more timely manner, the partners suggested. The pre-standard network will be installed in select markets across the United States, Ericsson said, without elaborating on the matter. As indicated by Verizon's previous comments on its 5G roadmap, the largest mobile service provider in the country is likely to prioritize servicing Sacramento, California, and four other U.S. cities which are yet to be named because they haven't been decided on.
Verizon's 5G efforts have been delayed on several occasions, prompting some direct mockery from T-Mobile, though the company remains adamant it's pleased with its current progress and will provide its subscribers with next-generation Internet speeds as quickly as possible. The upcoming fixed-wireless 5G solution relies on the millimeter-wave spectrum and has recently been tested by Verizon and Ericsson across the country, the duo revealed. The newly announced partnership is expected to continue going forward and Ericsson should spearhead Verizon's 5G deployment efforts after the competent standards body defines the next major advancement of cellular networks. Some industry analysts aren't too optimistic about fixed-wireless solutions in terms of their ability to unlock new revenue growth avenues but acknowledge such initiatives will help facilitate the deployment of the technology and ultimately pave the way for maximum profits backed by truly wireless services. U.S. carriers are expected to commercialize 5G on a national level come 2020 but should already have standards-compliant solutions in the first half of 2019.