Samsung's millimeter wave-based technology that's currently being tested as part of the company's 5G trials with Verizon is working "much better than expected," according to Magnus Ojert, the company's VP and General Manager of the Verizon account. While speaking to FierceWireless, Mr. Ojert admitted he was originally skeptical about the potential of mmWave implementations in the context of the fifth generation of mobile networks but ended up being convinced in the viability of such an approach after a number of successful trials. Following extensive testing efforts, Samsung already managed to come up with an effective end-to-end solution covering everything from building 5G sites to allowing users to easily connect to operational infrastructure, the executive suggested.
A particularly successful aspect of the trial highlighted by Mr. Ojert was the tech giant's ability to come up with a reliable system that isn't affected by weather conditions. According to Verizon, the speeds recorded in the later test beds didn't decline due to any precipitation like they did on some of the original testing sites. According to Mr. Ojert, Samsung's mmWave tech played a large role in ensuring that consistency as it allowed the signal to bounce off of buildings and end up in areas where direct coverage would have otherwise been impossible, thus proving its worth in yet another connectivity aspect.
Earlier this month, Samsung announced Verizon awarded it a supply contract for its first consumer-ready 5G Fixed Wireless Access service set to be released in the second half of the year in Sacramento, California. While not a truly wireless solution, the tech is described as the first commercial step toward it and is also understood to be Verizon's attempt to recoup a portion of its significant 5G investments earlier than shareholders expected. Verizon is planning to start deploying a "real" 5G network starting next year, whereas AT&T recently claimed it will do so before the end of 2018, albeit it's yet to provide any actual details on the matter. 5G networks should be commercialized in the United States on a national level by 2020, whereas first 5G-enabled smartphones should start hitting the market no later than early next year, according to most estimates.