US mobile giant Verizon Wireless has announced that it will deliver pre-commercial 5G services to select customers in eleven different markets during the first half of 2017. Verizon has claimed that its 5G network build represents the ‘largest proving ground in the world and encompasses several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations’. In the coming months, Verizon will begin offering 5G technology to pilot customers in the following metropolitan areas: Ann Arbor (Michigan), Atlanta (Georgia), Bernardsville (New Jersey), Brockton (Massachusetts), Dallas (Texas), Denver (Colorado), Houston (Texas), Miami (Florida), Sacramento (California), Seattle (Washington) and Washington, DC. Adam Koeppe, vice president (network planning) at Verizon, commented: ‘5G technology innovation is rapidly evolving. Network density is increasing to meet the demands of customers, and following the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) aggressive action on 5G spectrum, the time is right to deliver the next generation of broadband services with 5G.’
In other US 5G news, AT&T and Nokia have confirmed that they have successfully completed fixed-wireless 5G tests in the 39GHz band, using the vendor’s commercially available AirScale radio access platform. The pair have noted that both the 39GHz band and the 28GHz band are particularly attractive 5G options due to the large amount bandwidth available, although there is ‘significantly more’ 39GHz spectrum available. Nokia began testing mmWave technology with AT&T in 2016. Its most recent test phase involved the delivery of AT&T’s DirecTV NOW IPTV service over a 5G radio access system, and took place at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, New Jersey.