Mobility

Verizon plans to roll out 5G fixed wireless in 5 US cities in 2018

The telecom giant will use next generation wireless to bring fast internet speeds to homes-and compete with fiber-starting in Sacramento, CA.

Verizon will launch wireless residential broadband services in three to five US markets in 2018, marking a first application of 5G wireless, the company announced Wednesday.

Rather than copper or fiber cables, these broadband services will use radio signals to provide customers with faster wireless speeds, according to a press release. While 5G remains in its early stages, as the technology evolves, customers will be able to access bandwidth for broadband, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, as well as 3D and virtual reality (VR) applications.

Sacramento, CA will be the site of Verizon's first commercial launch, in the second half of 2018. Information on the launch in other markets will be provided later, according to Verizon.

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

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. "The commercial launch is based on customer experience and on Verizon's confidence in new technology powered by millimeter-wave spectrum," according to the release.

The market opportunity for the first 5G residential broadband services is about 30 million homes nationwide, Verizon estimated.

"This is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality," Hans Vestberg, Verizon CTO and president of global networks, said in the release. "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. The targeted initial launches we are announcing today will provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G's future deployment on the global standards."

5G is expected to make a major impact on the US economy, and the way we live and work. Residential services from Verizon and others could be a major benefit for telecommuters and people who work from home, providing faster, more consistent internet speeds.

By 2035, 5G will enable more than $12 trillion in global economic revenue, and support 22 million jobs worldwide driven by the digitalization 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 recent report from Ericsson.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. Verizon will launch wireless residential broadband services in three to five US markets in 2018, in a first application of 5G wireless, the company announced Wednesday.

2. The 5G broadband services will use radio signals rather than copper or fiber cables.

3.The market opportunity for the first 5G residential broadband services is about 30 million homes nationwide.

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Image: Verizon

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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