Verizon 5G Testbeds Will Go Live In 2016

Verizon is to hold field tests of 5G technology as early as next year as it gathers technology partners to strengthen the US development effort of next generation mobile network technology.

The two pilots will take place at the company’s innovation centres in Massachusetts and San Francisco with the support of Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung.

The exact characteristics of 5G are still undefined and up for debate, but it is hoped the standard will help power the Internet of Things (IoT) by providing high capacity, low latency, speeds of up to 1Gbps and ubiquitous reliability that can support mission critical processes like energy, transport and government services.

Verizon 5G tests

Verizon says 5G will offer ’50 times’ the current throughput of existing LTE networks and latency of single milliseconds, with commercial networks launched in 2020.

“5G is no longer a dream of the distant future,” said Roger Gurnani, chief information and technology architect for Verizon. “We feel a tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G and mobilize the ecosystem by collaborating with industry leaders and developers to usher in a new generation of innovation.

“Each partner is a leader, but together we represent more than $50 billion in annual research, development and technology investments and thousands of patents. Collectively we are bringing to bear an incredible amount of resources and intellectual capital to introduce the next generation of wireless technology.”

A number of projects aimed at developing the standards of 5G are taking place across the world, including in Asia, Europe and in the UK through the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey, which will establish a testbed on the Guildford campus by 2016.

Earlier this summer, a group of 13 IT firms, mobile operators and academic institutions, including Nokia, Deutsche Telekom and Kings College London, pledged to work together on the 5G NORMA (Novel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture), part of the European Union’s (EU) 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (5GPPP).

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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