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article imageVerizon plans to launch 5G network in 2017, could offer 5Gbps

By James Walker     Sep 10, 2015 in Technology
Mobile carrier Verizon has announced it will start testing its 5G network technology within the next 12 months, aiming for the beginning of a roll-out to customers by 2017. It means 5G could be available much sooner than was previously thought.
BGR reports Roger Gurnani, Verizon's chief information and technology architect, confirmed the plans to CNET in a recent interview. The network is aiming to be the first U.S. phone provider to offer a 5G data option, possibly within the next two years.
Verizon's current preliminary testing suggests that its 5G network will be 30 to 50 times faster than 4G services. Webpages will load almost instantaneously while downloading entire movies will take just seconds.
The service will be even quicker than Google Fiber, which lays optical cables directly to the premises and provides connection speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second. 5G will become one of the quickest ways of all to access the Internet. Verizon says the technology offers 50 times the throughput of current 4G LTE with latency of just single-digit milliseconds.
A prototype 5G radio demoed at Mobile World Congress in March exhibited transfer speeds in excess of 5,000 megabits per second. It uses less power and is considerably more responsive than the 4G it will replace.
Verizon was one of the earliest adopters of 4G and is looking to keep its lead over rivals in the race to acquire network infrastructure capable of handling 5G devices. Previous estimates for a commercial roll-out of the technology had suggested that 5G networks could be seen by 2020, a figure that Verizon hopes to undercut by three years by offering "some level of commercial deployment" during 2017.
Wider availability will come over the following years. Gurnani admitted "5G will require big bands of spectrum" and it will be up to the providers to make way for this while keeping 3G and 4G services alive.
Verizon is partnering with firms including Samsung, Qualcomm, Nokia, Cisco and Ericsson to help it as 5G trials begin. The company will reveal more details of its plans at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas this week. Assuming that Verizon can meet its own timeline, it should soon become the world's first mobile network able to claim ownership of a functioning 5G infrastructure.
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