Verizon said it plans to launch 5G "pre-commercial" gigabit broadband services to select customers in 11 USA markets by mid-2017, the carrier announced ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress confab in Barcelona.
Samsung and Verizon 5G customer trials will begin in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington, D.C., with a fifth location in MI starting trials later in Q2 2017. In the fist half of 2017, Verizon said the proving ground for the service will encompass "several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations".
Seattle, Sacramento, and Denver will be among the initial cities to test the network, which will be launched in collaboration with partners Ericsson and Samsung Electronics.
Verizon said it will select pilot customers based on their proximity to the new 5G towers and contact them about participating in the trial directly.
"5G technology innovation is rapidly evolving", said Adam Koeppe, vice president, network planning at Verizon. Also, as Cheng wrote, there is no set specification for 5G available, so Verizon could be hoping to impact how that specification continues to develop.
Verizon's announcement comes shortly after AT&T described its plans for "5G evolution" testing in Austin and Indianapolis. The tests will involve select customers in those cities, and best of all, it's happening this year.
5G is expected to provide carriers with significantly improved broadband service, akin to cable connections, helping relieve network connections and meet the ever-increasing demand of customers for data.
The news of the trials comes shortly after Verizon announced its acquisition of XO Communications' fiber-optic network business earlier this year.