Verizon's 5G wireless network will make its debut in 2018 albeit probably not in the form most expected.

Big Red has announced it will launch wireless residential broadband services in three to five US markets next year. Full details on the infrastructure weren't mentioned although Verizon referenced it as a "first application" of 5G wireless that will use radio signals instead of copper or fiber cables to provide connectivity.

The nation's top wireless carrier added that as 5G continues to evolve, customers will benefit from a wide array of services including broadband, mobile and IoT. Verizon's 5G will also supply the necessary bandwidth and low latency for virtual reality and 3D applications.

The first commercial launch on Verizon's roadmap will take place in Sacramento, California, we're told, in the second half of 2018. The company says it trialed 5G residential applications in 11 markets this year but stopped short of naming them.

Hans Vestberg, Verizon president of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer, said this is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality.

Some will no doubt be puzzled by Verizon's decision to debut 5G service as a residential broadband offering rather than a true wireless service for mobile devices. Perhaps the belief is that residential broadband users will get more mileage out of the additional bandwidth that 5G will supply or maybe it's a lack of 5G-compatible wireless devices that's off-putting.

Lead image via Albert Gea, Reuters