US race to 5G is heating up

11 January 2018 | James Pearce

The race to be the first US operator to deploy 5G is heating up after Verizon CTO Hans Vestberg vowed the firm would beat rival AT&T during a keynote.

Former Ericsson man Vestberg said Verizon will be “first to 5G” at CES in Las Vegas – just a week after AT&T unveiled plans for a commercial 5G service deployment by the end of 2018.

According to Mobile World Live, Vestberg also pledged this 5G network would be live before CES 2019 – likely to be held in Las Vegas during January of next year.

Verizon is widely expected to use 5G technology for fixed wireless solutions, having fixed Samsung has its vendor earlier this year. This is supported by Vestberg’s words at CES when he discussed the benefits of 5G fixed wireless, saying the company’s planned 3-5 market deployment will focus on residential broadband.

“Verizon will be first, and that is what’s most important,” said Vestberg.

“5G, from the beginning, was designed to be the industrial Internet sort of impacting our society. Of course, there’s going to be benefits from the — from consumers, but low latency down to milliseconds, throughputs over gigabits on the wireless networks, battery life up to 10 years, in some cases, five years to 10 years. Those type of things were designed for use cases that not typically might be the consumer use case.”

AT&T’s most recent announcement revealed that it will use official 5G standards to launch a mobile 5G service in a dozen markets in the US by the end of 2018.

AT&T said it had laid the foundation during 2017 for what it called 5G Evolution in 23 major metropolitan areas – Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; Chicago; Fresno; Greenville, South Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Louisville; Memphis; Nashville; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Pittsburgh; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; Tulsa, Oklahoma and Sacramento, California.

It comes as T-Mobile US CTO Neville Ray took a swipe at its larger rivals, accusing them of failing to commit “to a real 5G experience for mobile consumers” in a tweet sent following the AT&T announcement.

Ray added: “Meanwhile T-Mobile’s already started building a real, mobile NATIONWIDE 5G network.”

Mobile standards body the 3GPP has agreed on the specification for non-standalone 5G new radio at a meeting in Portugal – the first official specification for 5G - opening the way for operators to being initial deployments.

The Special Report in the February/March issue of Capacity will look at mobile technology, IoT, and the impact 5G will have on the wholesale market. To get involved, contact deputy editor James Pearce by clicking <<<HERE>>>

Topics: 5G, USA, CES, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Hans Vestberg, Neville Ray