Verizon is about to revolutionize the wireless industry by starting field trials of the fifth generation, or 5G. technology over the next 12 months, with plans for «some level of commercial rollout» by 2017 — well ahead of the overall industry forecast for 2020.
This information comes from a CNET interview with Roger Gurnani, Verizon’s chief information and technology architect, who revealed that Verizon will soon become the world’s first wireless carrier to transition to 5G. However, this is not just a big step for Verizon — it represents the beginning of a major shift in the telecommunications industry towards radically faster speeds and responsiveness.
“The future will bring more things that I cannot describe,” Gurnani said. “We cannot represent the full range of disruptive products and services. But we have some possibilities.”
How fast is 5G?
The so-called 5G technology will be almost inconceivably fast compared to existing options. Verizon’s initial tests showed connection speeds 30 to 50 times faster than 4G, which means it’s also faster than a direct connection to Google Fiber.
To see the difference, consider a two-hour HD movie that takes about 6 minutes to download over 4G. On a 5G network, the same movie will be fully downloaded in 15 seconds or less.
Other important benefits of 5G
While speed is by far the biggest selling point of 5G wireless, there are other benefits as well. For example, 5G is significantly faster than 4G, so the movements of the surgeon’s hands can be transmitted in real time to the other side of the world, making remote surgery possible if needed. Plus, it’s expected to be 10 times more energy efficient, delivering a much-needed boost in battery life.
Another key benefit is that 5G will be all-inclusive – it’s built to handle all types of traffic with extremely low latency, making it ideal for powering our wearable technology. wearable , smart home devices and internet connected cars. self-driving cars Professor Raheem Tafazolli, director of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre, explains:
“An important aspect of 5G is how it will support applications in the future. We don’t know which apps will be in use by 2020 or 2030 or 2040 for that matter, but we do know they will be very latency sensitive. […]. We need to reduce end-to-end latency to below one millisecond. so it can enable new technologies and applications that would not be possible with 4G.”
The current state of 5G
In addition to future world-changing abilities, Gurnani focuses on the present. “We are currently focused on technology testing and technology acceleration,” he said.
Verizon has brought together partners including Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco, Qualcomm and Samsung and recently hosted its first Verizon 5G Technology Forum. The company has also set up small test sites called «sandboxes» at its innovation centers in Waltham, Massachusetts and San Francisco.
And while Verizon may be the first network to roll out 5G (they were also the first to offer 4G), it’s definitely not alone. It’s safe to say that Verizon’s US rivals will follow suit, with carriers in South Korea, Japan and China also pushing ahead with 5G rollouts.
In an interview, Gurnani noted that a number of other countries are ahead when it comes to spectrum policy. To make their foray into 5G feasible, Verizon and other U.S. carriers will need more spectrum access. “For technical testing, we have what we need,” he said. “On top of that, 5G will require large bandwidths of spectrum.”
Assuming Verizon and other carriers can get the spectrum they need, we may be able to access 5G networks much sooner than expected. Like 4G, which really helped drive the mass adoption of smartphones, 5G is likely to spur a lot of innovation. The ability to have ultra-fast speeds and low latency opens all kinds of doors, allowing you to create things like wireless VR without lag. for example.