Verizon is officially speeding up its 5G New Radio (NR) field trials, with the goal of bringing the networking technology to its customers by the end of 2019. Verizon is working with partners Novatel Wireless and Qualcomm, which announced the efforts in a press release.
At the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Verizon senior vice president Atish Gude spoke about the announcement. “Specifically with Qualcomm and ecosystem partners like Novatel, we made a commitment to really drive with you accelerated field trials and an accelerated commercial launch, and that just shows our commitment to 5G NR millimetre-wave,” Gude said.
And, as reported by ZDNet’s Corinne Reichert, Qualcomm executive vice president Cristiano Amon noted that the firm would have a 5G compliant product by 2019. “By 2019, we’ll make 5G NR a reality,” Amon said.
SEE: Interview questions: Wireless network engineer (Tech Pro Research)
In his keynote address at the conference, Amon said that the company is starting a number of 5G trials in the second half of 2017. He also said that Qualcomm has prototype systems that will allow them to text in millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies, as well as those in the sub-6GHz category.
Amon also went on to say that the firm is readying itself for the 2019 deadline, which he described as “aggressive but possible.”
The 5G NR field trials will kick off in 2018, making use of the 3GPP Release 15 specifications. 3GPP is the governing body that determines the standards for mobile networks.
The trials will operate in the 28GHz and 39GHz mmWave frequency bands. It is these bands that will support the full-scale network planned by the companies. Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennas, beamforming and tracking techniques, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G NR mobile modem chipset will also be used as part of the trials, ZDNet reported.
There’s no denying that 5G is at the forefront of every major conversation about mobile today, but it’s still a ways out. Earlier this year, Verizon announced that it would be testing 5G in the following 11 cities:
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Bernardsville, New Jersey
- Brockton, Massachusetts
- Dallas, Texas
- Denver, Colorado
- Houston, Texas
- Miami, Florida
- Sacramento, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Washington, DC
Many of the major tech players involved in 5G aren’t acting alone, or in isolated groups, though. For example, Verizon is working with Ericsson, Cisco, Samsung, Intel, LG, and Nokia on its trial networks.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Verizon is accelerating its 5G NR trials, with the goal of deploying its networks by the end of 2019 with partners such as Qualcomm and Ericsson.
- A Qualcomm executive called the timeline “aggressive but possible,” but said that the pair would “make 5G NR a reality” by then.
- Because of its potential in improving business across the board, many companies are partnering on efforts to bring 5G networks to market as fast as possible.