Verizon to start field testing of 5G wireless network in 2016.

Verizon to start field testing of 5G technology in 2016

Verizon 5G service will be rolled out in 2017, expected to be faster than Google Fiber

It looks like the wireless network technology is set to go up another notch. The nation’s largest wireless carrier, Verizon will start its field tests for its fifth-generation or 5G technology within the next 12 months  and “some level of commercial deployment” will begin by 2017, Roger Gurnani, chief information and technology architect for Verizon, said in an interview last week to CNET. This comes as a surprise as earlier reports had suggested that the 5G technology would be not available to consumers until 2020.

The nation’s largest wireless carrier will begin field trials on so-called fifth-generation, or 5G, technology within the next 12 months, Roger Gurnani, chief information and technology architect for Verizon, said in an interview last week. He expects “some level of commercial deployment” to begin by 2017. That’s far earlier than the time frame of 2020 that many in the industry have pegged for the initial adoption of 5G technology.

The trials would make Verizon the world’s first carrier to seriously move into 5G. Compared to 4G, 5G wireless will benefit users with much faster download speeds, better power efficiency and more responsive performance allowing for applications like remote surgery over the cellular network.

“The future is going to bring more stuff that I can’t really describe,” Gurnani said. “We can’t possibly envision the full range of disruptive products and services. But we have some possibilities.”

The unprecedented speed has been hinted at in the past, but Verizon has some hard data that makes 5G sound even more appealing than it already was. According to the Verizon’s tests, 5G is 30 to 50 times faster than 4G,

In terms of speed, Verizon says its tests found the next-gen service is 30 to 50 times faster than the company’s current 4G offering, which is even higher than what the elusive Google Fiber offers its customers. So a movie that currently takes six minutes to download over 4G would take as few as 15 seconds. These kinds of speeds would allow for real-time streaming of movies and television shows in 4K resolution over Verizon’s cellular network.

Of course, commercial deployment of 5G networks is still a few years away. However, South Korea’s carriers should deploy a trial 5G network in time for the 2015 Winter Olympics, while Japan is working to have a 5G network running in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The Chinese government too has pushed aggressively for commercial deployment of 5G networks.

“At this time, our focus is on the technology field trials and accelerating the technology,” Gurnani pointed out. “For technical trials themselves, we have what we need. Beyond that, 5G will require big bands of spectrum.”

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