Verizon announced Wednesday that it will launch 5G commercial services in 11 select U.S. markets.
The pilot will occur in the first half of 2017 for certain customer locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta; Bernardsville, New Jersey; Brockton, Massachusetts; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento; Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Verizon said the pilot will help lead to commercialized 5G connections in homes and offices.
The announcement came on the same day the Federal Communications Commission authorized “LTE for unlicensed” (LTE-U) devices on the 5GHz spectrum. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the move will allow wireless providers to place mobile traffic on the spectrum, which formerly only carried Wi-Fi and Bluetooth data.
“5G technology innovation is rapidly evolving,” said Adam Koeppe, vice president of network planning at Verizon. “Network density is increasing to meet the demands of customers, and following the FCC’s aggressive action on 5G spectrum, the time is right to deliver the next generation of broadband services with 5G.”
Members of the Verizon 5G Technology Forum, which includes Ericsson and Samsung, will work with the telecommunications company to deliver the pilot.
“These end-to-end solutions are a key step for preparing Verizon’s network for commercial deployment with different 5G scenarios and use cases,” said Rima Qureshi, head of Ericsson’s North American region.
“Verizon is excited about today’s announcement from the FCC that it has granted the first authorizations for LTE-U equipment,” Will Johnson, Verizon senior vice president of federal regulatory and legal affairs, said. “As demand for bandwidth continues to skyrocket, LTE-U will enable our customers to benefit from more data at faster speeds where they live work, live, and play. This is an example of yet another great innovation using unlicensed spectrum.”
AT&T, Verizon’s biggest rival, touted its new 5G sites at a recent showcase. T-Mobile also praised the FCC’s decision and said it would work on its 5G technology.