Verizon Aims to Deploy 5G Pilot Programs in 11 Markets by Mid-2017

NEW YORK—Verizon this week announced that it intended to launch 5G pilot programs in 11 U.S. markets by mid-2017. “Verizon’s 5G build is the largest proving ground in the world and encompasses several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations,” the cellular service provider said.

Verizon intends to launch “pre-commercial” 5G in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Atlanta, Bernardsville, N.J.; Brockton, Mass.; Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Verizon said the pilot program leverages its 5G Technology Forum partners, including Ericsson, which announced the development of a “5G core system” earlier this month.

“Ericsson’s partnership with Verizon in rolling out 5G customer trials is accelerating the global 5G ecosystem,” said Rima Qureshi, head of region North America for Ericsson. “These end-to-end solutions are a key step for preparing Verizon’s network for commercial deployment with different 5G scenarios and use cases.”

Verizon said the 5GTF partners, including Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung in addition to Ericsson and Verizon, are “well on their way to commercializing chipsets, infrastructure products, and consumer devices based on the 5GTF specification.”

Woojune Kim, vice president of the Next-Generation Business Team for Samsung, said, “The 5G systems we are deploying will soon provide wireless broadband service to homes, enabling customers to experience cost-competitive, gigabit speeds that were previously only deliverable via fiber.”

The Verizon said 5GTF has “delivered an open specification for 5G fixed wireless that is immediately implementable.”

In further developments in the wireless space, the Federal Communications Commission yesterday approved of the first use of unlicensed LTE in the 5 GHz band, with equipment modification grants for Ericsson and Nokia. 

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