Verizon Gets a Fix on 5G Trials

Verizon said it plans to launch 5G “pre-commercial” gigabit broadband services to select customers in 11 U.S. markets by mid-2017, the carrier announced ahead of next week’s Mobile World Congress confab in Barcelona.

Verizon said the 5G trials will encompass “several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations” in the following metro areas: Ann Arbor, Mich.; Atlanta, Bernardsville, N.J.; Brockton, Mass.; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

The trials represent “another important step in commercializing gigabit broadband service to homes and offices via a wireless 5G connection,” Verizon said, noting that the tech pilots are being conducted in “close collaboration with Verizon's 5G Technology Forum (5GTF) partners” that include Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung.

RELATED: 5G: An Emerging 'Frenemy' 

"Ericsson's partnership with Verizon in rolling out 5G customer trials is accelerating the global 5G ecosystem," said Rima Qureshi, head of region North America at Ericsson, said in a statement. "These end-to-end solutions are a key step for preparing Verizon's network for commercial deployment with different 5G scenarios and use cases."

"The tremendous progress we have made with Verizon in commercializing 5G represents our companies' mutual focus on delivering the highest level of innovation to our customers," said Woojune Kim, Vice President, Next Generation Business Team, Samsung Electronics.

"The 5G systems we are deploying will soon provide wireless broadband service to homes, enabling customers to experience cost-competitive, gigabit speeds that were previously only deliverable via fiber,” added Woojune Kim, VP, next generation business team at Samsung Electronics.

"5G technology innovation is rapidly evolving," said Adam Koeppe, VP, network planning at Verizon. "Network density is increasing to meet the demands of customers, and following the FCC's aggressive action on 5G spectrum, the time is right to deliver the next generation of broadband services with 5G."