Verizon has released a new video in advance of its 5G deployment, meant to show off how well millimeter-wave spectrum works in real-world conditions and refute some misconceptions. The carrier will begin offering commercial products to customers this year and it will be using the 28GHz and 39GHz bands in order to do so but its new clip goes further than base technical details that were already known. Verizon said it wanted to show that in sub-optimal real-world environments, the technology can still perform better than expected, hence the video that can be seen below.
To that end, Verizon representatives took to testing various circumstances and showing how speed is affected, as well as talking viewers through how the signal works in some cases. It's important to note that, as of the video, the company says it is only using around half of its available spectrum. Of course, small cell sites are used throughout since those will serve as a backbone for 5G networks, with 4G LTE continuing in a supporting roll over greater distances. The representative starts testing on the roof of a parking garage, 3,000 feet from the small cell – which is positioned at a downward angle to serve the neighborhood its positioned in. The camera pans to a test laptop showing 0.94Gbps speeds are being achieved. At a third of a mile away from the tower, the test team puts the heavy foliage of trees between themselves and their radio node. Again, the test shows speeds of around 0.8Gbps. That same average speeds also appears to be capable without line of sight, when the test device is placed so that the signal needs to "bounce" off of buildings to reach the receiver. Test results continue to be relatively unchanged once the test device is placed indoors, with a wall and window between the tower and test device.
The results shown are fairly impressive if those can ultimately translate to real-world speeds of a gigabit or more once Verizon begins its rollout. The carrier points to beamforming as a means to accomplish that. Beamforming effectively pushes multiple beams of signal and the system uses that to compensate for any signal loss by switching to whichever beam is the strongest. Verizon says that happens almost instantly, resulting in a solid high-speed connection without any additional latency.