According to a recent report published by FierceWireless, Verizon Wireless should be on track to debut its 5G broadband offering in several markets within the United States by next year. As pointed out by Nicola Palmer, the chief network officer of the mobile operator, the Big Red has been busy conducting field tests with customers (albeit of the non-paying kind) in 11 markets. Verizon is taking full advantage of 28 GigaHertz spectrum and 120+ nodes.
Palmer also shared that millimeter waves exhibit better propagation properties than previously expected. Verizon’s tests have yielded connection speeds in and beyond the 1 gigabit per second (gbps) range beyond 2,000 feet. The industry in general had been expecting a range of about 500 or 600 feet, but trials reveal that the 2,000 feet range is manageable.
The biggest wireless carrier in the United States is planning to commence trials of its 5G mobility offering within next year. Some may remember that back in May earlier this year, Verizon Wireless had teamed up with Ericsson and Intel in conducting some initial 5G mobility testing at the Indianapolis 500. The mobile operator had also revealed last month that it was looking to join forces with chip maker Qualcomm and Novatel Wireless in order to work on 5G New Radio (NR) millimeter wave tech development and over the air field testing based on the 5G NR Release 15 specs being developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Meanwhile, another national wireless service provider, Sprint, has hinted at achieving connection speeds of 6 gigabits per second over an LTE network. Gunther Ottendorfer, the chief operating officer of technology for the carrier, recently stated the company had already successfully logged LTE speeds nearing 1 gigabits per second, mainly by using 600 MegaHertz of spectrum with 2 X 2 multiple input multiple output (MIMO) and 64 QAM across three sectors. But with the help of the mobile operator’s wealth of 2.5 GigaHertz spectrum assets, it claims it can boost those numbers to 120 MegaHertz of spectrum with 64 X 64 MIMO (that is 16 layers for every sector carrier) and 256 QAM and in the process, hit peak speeds of up to 6 gigabits per second.
It should be noted that such speeds have been achieved in laboratory or trial environments. The trick is now transplanting those capabilities in real world settings, in consideration of lots of variables and factors, such as network traffic or proximity to a tower or transmitter.
According to Ottendorfer, Sprint will eventually roll out its 5G network using its various spectrum bands, including its 2.5 GigaHertz spectrum. The Sprint COO of technology further pointed out that Band 41 (which covers the mobile operator’s 2.5 GigaHertz assets), has been identified as an initial band for 5G NR tech.
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