US telecommunications operator Verizon has announced that it plans to rollout 5G fixed wireless services in five major cities across the country in 2018. The development would represent the first application of 5G wireless in the United States.
The ambitious plan would see traditional copper and fiber cables replaced by broadband services utilizing radio signals to provide customers with faster wireless speeds. Whilst 5G remains a nascent technology, as the technology continues to evolve, customers will be able to access increased bandwidth for broadband, mobile and Internet of Things devices, as well as 3D and VR applications.
In addition to this, it has been disclosed that Sacramento, CA will be the site of Verizon's first official commercial launch. However, it declined to comment on when the other commercial launches would take place, but confirmed that the four other cities would be Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and Seattle.
The move also represents the first foray into 5G for the US telecommunications colossus, although it did trial 5G residential application in 11 cities to much fanfare in early 2017. In an official statement released by the operator, they claimed that the commercial launch was based on customer experience and Verizon's confidence in new technology powered by millimeter-wave spectrum.
Verizon CTO and President of its Global Networks, Hans Vestberg expressed his delight at the announcement, and claimed the development would accelerate the deployment of 5G technology in the future. He said, “This is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality. We appreciate our strong ecosystem partners for their passion and technological support in helping us drive forward with 5G industry standards, for both fixed and mobile applications. The targeted initial launches we are announcing today will provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G's future deployment on the global standards."
Analysts are projecting that 5G will have a huge impact on the US economy, in relation to the way citizens live and work. Residential services from Verizon and others could be a major benefit for telecommuters and people who work from home, providing faster and more consistent internet speeds.
In addition to this, it has been estimated that by 2035, 5G will enable more than $12 trillion in global economic revenue, which will subsequently create around 22m jobs globally, which will primarily be driven by the digitalization of industries such as transportation, agriculture and manufacturing.
By 2023, 5G will cover more than 20% of the global population, with 1 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband deployed by that time, according to a recent report published by Ericsson.