Last October, the FCC suggested the commercial availability of 5G network technology could be offered as early as 2020, but one wireless supplier has other plans. This week, Verizon announced plans to begin field-testing 5G network technology with an anticipated release for commercial use as early as 2017.
“5G is no longer a dream of the distant future. We feel a tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G … to usher in a new generation of innovation.”
Field tests will take place starting next year in locations outside of Boston and San Francisco. The timeline for the technology to progress from the research lab to commercial availability is admittedly “aggressive.” Then again, Verizon was also the first to test and introduce 4G in a matter of just two years (2008-2010).
The deployment of 5G will introduce speeds that are estimated to be 30-50 times the throughput of current wireless speeds. In addition, the ultra-low latency could transmit data in about one millisecond as opposed to the 50 milliseconds experienced with 4G. Imagine the ability to download a movie in mere seconds as opposed to minutes.
Verizon may be met with some challenges, however, as the requirements of 5G have not yet been defined and are still quite ambiguous. Concerns remain as to what 5G technology and subsequent applications will look like. For starters, the network may require access to higher frequency bands raising questions around access to the spectrum; unlicensed, licensed and shared. The FCC is still accepting filings for recommended guidelines on proposed rule making for next generation mobile broadband services.
The variables of 5G technology development and deployment are yet to be determined, but perhaps with the aggressive push to the 5G finish line, Verizon and partnering vendors, will help to set future guidelines and bring the Internet of things to a whole new level.