A few days ago, Verizon Wireless had pledged that it would invest about $300 million over the half decade or so in order to lay 800 miles of FiOS cable in the city of Boston in Massachusetts, essentially putting itself in a nice position to go toe to toe with Comcast in providing home fiber services to the residents of Bean Town. But apparently, there is another reason for the Big Red’s decision to select Boston, and it has something to do with its extensive 5G plans.
To date, the biggest wireless carrier in the United States has already started testing its 5G network at its headquarters located Basking Ridge in the Garden State. In February early this year, Verizon Wireless had revealed that it is planning to conduct 5G tests at 29 GigaHertz with mobile giant Samsung in a certain suburban area in the city of Dallas in Texas. Last year in December, Lowell McAdam, the chief executive officer of the wireless carrier, had stated that Verizon had plans to initiate pilot programs in major American cities such as the aforementioned Boston, New York, and San Francisco early this year before moving on to roll it out for commercial release before the end of 2016. In the suburbs within the city of Waltham in Massachusetts, Verizon Wireless is also in the process of developing and testing 5G at its innovation center located in the area.
As explained by McAdam earlier, Verizon Wireless’ 5G network would allow connection speeds of up to 200 times faster than the standard 5 mbps being offered on the Big Red’s LTE service. But what role will the Boston FiOS roll out play? For starters, it will allow the wireless carrier to put up antennas on utility poles, thereby increasing the density of its existing network by way of small cells that enhance overall network coverage. The fiber will function as the backbone in which a 5G network can be established in Bean Town, as elucidated by Bob Mudge, the president of Verizon Wireless’ wireline network operations, to the Boston Herald. At its cell sites, the Big Red makes full use of fiber for both backhaul and fronthaul, and is looking to keep on strengthening its fiber network both for 4G, and later on, as the foundation for the upcoming 5G network.
Verizon Wireless has been rather vocal in vying to be the first wireless carrier in the United States to deploy 5G as early as 2017. But its enthusiasm has been met with some criticism, particularly from Braxton Carter, the chief financial officer of another major US wireless carrier, T-Mobile. According to Carter, the Big Red’s eagerness to roll out 5G may have something to do with its struggles in handling data traffic.
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