The race for 5G is on and Verizon wants to deploy wireless 5G residential broadband services to five cities by the end of 2018.
The 5G home services will start rolling out sometime in the second half of next year, starting with Sacramento, California before expanding to four additional cities by the year's end.
So far, Verizon has already trialed 5G home services powered by 11 mm-wave spectrum in 11 markets. The tests were successful, which is why the carrier is now confident that the technology is ready for commercial deployment.
Verizon 5G Plans
The fifth-generation wireless, 5G for short, replace fiber or copper cables with radio signals, which should translate to wireless internet speeds faster than ever before. As the technology will keep advancing and deliver unprecedented speeds, customers will be able to take advantage of a number of services such as mobile, broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT). At the same time, it will also need the low latency and appropriate bandwidth for virtual reality and 3D applications, which are on the rise.
"This is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality," says Hans Vestberg, Chief Technology Officer and President of Global Networks at Verizon. "We appreciate our strong ecosystem partners for their passion and technological support in helping us drive forward with 5G industry standards, for both fixed and mobile applications."
Market Opportunity: 5G for 30 Million Households
Verizon hopes that its initial deployment of 5G home broadband services has a market opportunity of roughly 30 million households across the United States. The company says it will offer more details later on, but for now, the plan and the first location are all it disclosed.
As such, it remains to be seen what technologies Verizon will employ or what speeds customers can expect from these services. For all we know now, it could well be something similar to AT&T's fake "5G Evolution" network, which is not 5G at all. Instead, AT&T just repurposed some of its LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro technology standards and called it "5G Evolution."
Hopefully, Verizon will do more than that and it will deploy an actual 5G network next year. The first five U.S. markets will likely be large cities nationwide, with more to follow if everything goes right. Should it be successful, Verizon might replace home Wi-Fi with 5G and gain a powerful edge against rivals.