Samsung's 5G-ready home router announced by the company at this year's iteration of Mobile World Congress has been certified by the United States Federal Communications Commission after already receiving testing approval and is widely expected to be launching through Verizon in the second half of the year. The nation's largest mobile service provider has been touting its 5G fixed wireless access service as the first commercial implementation of the next generation of connectivity, having already confirmed it's planning an experimental rollout that will cover select U.S. cities in partnership with Samsung later this year.
The newly certified router is the left-most device seen in the image above which was originally shared by Samsung in late February. The gadget is identified by the model number SFG-D0100, ships with 64 antennas, and utilizes a 2×2 MIMO array with beamforming support. Samsung's offering is meant to be connected to millimeter-wave bands and serve as a cutting-edge alternative to traditional routers, i.e. broadband Internet access. A separate router may still be a necessary part of the setup, at least as far as the first generation of Samsung's 5G FWA solutions is concerned, with the newly revealed FCC certificate not mentioning 802.11 support. Verizon is presently targeting Sacramento, California, and between two to four other cities for a 5G FWA launch in the second half of the year. The scope of the company's initial launch will likely depend on the real-world performance of the service in Sacramento that's expected to be its first supported market.
Verizon said its 5G FWA trials with Samsung have repeatedly exceeded expectations in terms of consistency, data transfer rates, latencies, and capacities, with the company planning to build on that service and offer a fully mobile 5G solution in select U.S. cities early next year once first 5G-enabled smartphones are commercialized. In the meantime, AT&T is already working on 5G "pucks," i.e. hotspots that are meant to allow for such connectivity as early as this year, though it also isn't planning on carrying 5G-ready handsets before 2019. T-Mobile and Sprint's merger that the duo officially announced on Sunday is entirely centered on 5G, with the two firms arguing that only a tie-up would allow them to push the industry forward and allow the U.S. to not fall behind in the global wireless race.