Verizon preps for field tests of high-speed 5G service next year
With how ubiquitous 4G LTE-capable smartphones are these days, it’s easy to forget that we’ve only been with the tech for a few years now. Here in the States, for instance, Verizon didn’t start offering LTE smartphones until early 2011, with the debut of the HTC Thunderbolt. But now we’re already sneaking up on time for the next generation of cellular networks to roll out across the country, and today Verizon shares some early plans for the launch of 5G coverage, starting with tests next year.
There’s still a long way to go before we see smartphone makers delivering 5G devices, and for this next-gen network support become available to a large number of users, but Verizon doesn’t want to risk being left behind, and so with the help of companies like Samsung, Nokia, and Qualcomm, it’s working on closed “sandbox” testing which will give way to field trials sometime in 2016.
While the companies involved still need to finish nailing-down a 5G standard, we could be looking at network throughput that’s up to fifty times better than what we get with LTE – though you shouldn’t be surprised if real-world performance ends up being a bit more conservative. Latency should also be greatly improved, down in the single-millisecond range.
We’re only just at the start of the 5G story here, and it will be years before the full picture of what 5G means for the future of connected devices makes itself clear, but it sure sounds like some very promising times are ahead.