4G LTE is the predominate wireless communication standard in the US, the result of years of infrastructure build outs on behalf of cellular providers across the country. It is worlds faster than the turtle-like speeds you get from 3G yet already, several companies including Verizon are turning their attention to what’s next in wireless.
The nation’s largest telecom on Tuesday revealed plans to launch field trials of 5G wireless technology sometime next year. Verizon said it is creating 5G network environments, or “sandboxes,” at its Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Francisco Innovation Centers.
The primary benefit of 5G will of course be speed. As explained during its inaugural Verizon 5G Technology Forum last month, the new wireless technology will offer roughly 50 times the throughput of current 4G LTE technology. It’ll also afford latency in the single milliseconds and the ability to handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices should the Internet of Things live up to its hype.
As was the case in the early development of 4G LTE, Verizon is relying on a shared environment to expedite the process. The company said it has established working teams with Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung to ensure an aggressive pace of innovation.
Roger Gurnani, executive vice president and chief information and technology architect at Verizon, said each partner is a leader but collectively, they represent more than $50 billion in annual research, development and technology investments as well as thousands of patents.
Samsung last year revealed that its 5G network clocked 7.5Gbps, or 940MB per second in a stationary environment. At the time, that was the fastest-ever 5G stationary test. When testing in a moving vehicle at 62 mph, speeds dipped to 1.2Gbps, or 150MB per second.
Despite field testing next year, Verizon conceded that 5GB technology is likely to be introduced to consumers sometime after 2020.