Verizon Wireless is already looking towards a future where its current 4G LTE network is succeeded by technology that will offer the potential for incredibly fast speeds for smartphones and tablets. The company said it will begin field tests for its "5G" network sometime in 2016, which it claims will have up to 50 times the throughput of the carrier's current 4G LTE network.
Verizon is the first U.S. wireless carrier to publicly reveal its intentions for creating a faster network. It outlined its plans to work with a number of partners to make this happen sooner than expected:
- Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung kicked-off the inaugural Verizon 5G Technology Forum last month, and have established working teams to ensure an aggressive pace of innovation.
- 5G network environments, or "sandboxes," are being created in Verizon's Waltham, Mass., and San Francisco Innovation Centers. Just like in the early days of the development of 4G LTE technology, collaborating in a shared environment will foster compelling applications faster.
- Verizon and its partners are committed to beginning technology field trials in 2016.
In an interview with CNET, Roger Gurnani, the chief information and technology architect for Verizon, says that the company expects to offer "some level of commercial deployment" for its 5G network sometime in 2017. He did not offer any further details of which markets in the US would be the first to have Verzion's faster network.