Mobility

Verizon launching 5G in Houston, bringing city to forefront of 'unprecedented innovation'

Houston is the next target for Verizon's 5G network, following Sacramento and Los Angeles, with plans to deploy it later this year.

Houston is the third city for Verizon's 5G deployment plan. It will launch in the Texas city in the second half of 2018, according to a Tuesday press release from Verizon.

There will be a total of four cities receiving Verizon 5G in this initial phase of deployment. Sacramento, CA and Los Angeles were previously announced as recipients of the technology, the release noted. The fourth city has not yet been announced.

Verizon has a long-standing relationship with the city of Houston, area first responders, and residents; and this initial 5G deployment is supported by both state and local officials. Verizon planned for two years to prepare for Super Bowl 51 in 2017, and provided a neutral host Distributed Antenna System for NRG Stadium. For Houston and the Super Bowl, Verizon built 23 new permanent cell sites around the city and more than 220 permanent small cells. Verizon also worked with city officials provide emergency support during widespread flooding in 2017.

SEE: Job description: Wireless network engineer (Tech Pro Research)

"We expect 5G will be a game changer helping us usher in a new wave of progress and innovation," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a press release. "We're delighted to be one of the first cities to bring 5G to our local communities and look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Verizon."

Turner has said that next-generation technologies such as 5G are critical to helping Houston radically change the way citizens live, work, learn, and play. Among the areas served by Verizon 5G will be the five traditionally under-resourced neighborhoods in the pilot phase of the mayor's Complete Communities program aimed at providing city services on an equitable basis.

"We will be the first to offer commercial 5G service and our work with Houston put us one step closer to delivering that promise," said Hans Vestberg, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon, in a press release. "With 5G we are ushering in a fourth industrial revolution that will help reshape cities and lead to unprecedented innovation, and Houston will be at the forefront of that innovation."

The addition of 5G means that wireless networks can supplant traditional wireline connections because of the increased bandwidth for devices, which will minimize latency. This gives remote workers greater flexibility, since they're no longer tied to a home office with a wireline connection. It also lowers the barrier to network connectivity for IoT devices. It also improves connectivity in densely populated areas with large numbers of devices on the mobile network.

This isn't Verizon's first foray into 5G: The telecom company trialed 5G residential applications in 11 cities in 2017, including Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, and Sacramento.

By 2035, 5G will enable more than $12 trillion in global economic revenue, and support 22 million jobs worldwide—driven by the digitization of industries such as transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing, according to Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and group president of Verizon Wireless.

By 2023, 5G will cover more than 20% of the global population, with 1 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband deployed by that time, according to a report from Ericsson.

Also see:

verizon-in-houston-flood.jpg

Verizon worked with Houston officials and residents to help them navigate the floods that paralyzed the city in 2017.

Image: Verizon

About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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