Complete guide to Verizon 5G and 5G networks

Nicole George
NG
Nicole George
Sep 27, 2018

Looking forward to companies like AT&T and Verizon rolling out 5G internet service? Who knows, 5G wireless internet may even replace cable in the future.

Today, we feature what Verizon’s been doing with 5G internet. Their 5G internet rollout starts in October 2018, with residential, wireless home internet.

Read on to learn about 5G internet, how 5G internet works, where Verizon’s launching 5G service and what 5G means for the future.

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Verizon 5G fixed wireless broadband and mobile basics

What is Verizon 5G?

Essentially, 5G is high-speed internet delivered wirelessly from service towers instead of fiber or cable lines. 5G offers high bandwidth, almost no latency and some of the highest wireless internet speeds available, reaching up to multiple Gbps.

How fast is Verizon 5G internet?

Verizon says 5G is 30-50 times faster than 4G. That translates to download and upload speeds up to multiple Gbps. At the Verizon Indycar series, a Verizon 5G test showed download speeds reaching more than 6 Gbps.

When will Verizon 5G be available?

Verizon will start offering 5G fixed broadband service in 4 cities beginning October 1st, 2018. Verizon plans to offer 5G mobile service once 5G mobile devices are available, which will likely be 2019.

Which cities will have Verizon 5G wireless home internet?

Verizon plans to start installing 5G high-speed, wireless home internet available in 4 U.S. cities in October 2018. Verizon 5G home internet cities will include Los Angeles, Houston, Sacramento and Indianapolis.

Where is Verizon testing 5G?

Verizon has already tested 5G wireless broadband in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Sacramento, Houston and other U.S. cities. Verizon tested 5G in 11 total cities and received results indicating 5G’s ability to communicate over greater distances and with less latency than Verizon imagined.

The perks of 5G wireless internet service

5G wireless is a reliable, high-speed network that lets you watch videos, complete projects, video conference call and more with consistent speeds, connection and clarity. Check out all the perks you’ll experience with a 5G network.

Much lower latency

Latency is the time it takes for one device to send data packets to another. Using 5G, latency could drop to as low as 1 millisecond. With much lower latency, data transfer can happen almost instantaneously.

Low latency translates to immediate online gaming responses instead of waiting for your game to react. It also means real-time conversations in video conferences instead of awkward pauses due to lag.

Low latency also opens up the potential for future innovation, such as automated vehicles. Consider the amount of time it would take for an automated vehicle to register a car suddenly braking in front of it. If latency (lag) is 200 milliseconds, it may be too slow for a car to stop in time. If data can be sent back and forth in under 5 milliseconds, automated vehicles will become much safer, and a much more viable option for transportation.

Download speeds up to multiple gigabytes per second

With 5G tests showing speeds up to multiple Gbps instead of just Mbps, people may be able to stream real-time 4K videos. Speeds will vary due to multiple factors, but as 5G wireless improves, so will upload and download speeds.

Higher bandwidth for more consistent speeds

Even if you have a network with high download speeds, massive amounts of data can clog up networks and slow down speeds, just like cars on a highway.

By using MIMO (multiple-input-multiple-output) to grow 5G network bandwidth, higher volumes of data can be sent and received more consistently at the fast speeds that 5G allows. Imagine more car lanes on a highway; more lanes minimizes congestion, which allows more cars to travel at the designated speed.

Real-time connections

Tech experts anticipate 5G wireless to drive more innovation and support growing technological advancements such as automated cars, smart cities, immersive education experiences and more. Advanced technologies require reliable, high-speed internet to consistently transport real-time data in large volume.

How 5G works and a history of the “G”

What’s next for 5G wireless growth

The beginning of 5G starts with fixed wireless technology, which brings wireless broadband to consumer households. Verizon will start offering 5G fixed wireless service in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Indianapolis and Houston in October 2018.

Continued 5G fixed wireless expansion

Other providers will grow their 5G wireless networks as well. For example, Starry, another internet company using millimeter wave bands, plans to expand into a dozen new markets in 2018, according to SPG Global. Other fixed wireless companies, such as Rise Broadband and Open Broadband, will also build up their 5G fixed wireless networks, making 5G more available across the U.S.

Building out 5G mobile networks

Establishing 5G mobile broadband networks will come next. According to Forbes, multiple mobile service providers will begin 5G mobile services in 2019. With the future 5G mobile network rollout, experts predict that mobile broadband data caps will rise to 1TB per month to meet standard broadband internet data caps.

Local community cooperation

Local governments, must approve infrastructure changes and give permits for service providers to expand 5G wireless networks. Some municipalities and their residents worry that small cells are unsightly and unsafe since providers frequently place them on light poles. Residents may not like the appearance of small cell equipment replacing or altering light poles around their towns.

They also worry that promises to expand high-speed internet to rural locations, which often don’t have access to high-speed internet, won’t be honored.  For example, according to the New York Times, cell tower operator Mobilitie placed 215 small cells around Montgomery County, Maryland, but only 11 of the 215 cells served areas with fewer than 1,000 people per square mile.

While rural areas need high-speed internet access, providers face the challenge of offsetting installation costs in areas with fewer users. Fixed wireless internet service requires dense small cell placement, but fewer people living in rural areas means fewer people paying for 5G service.

Businesses have to justify building a rural 5G network with less return on investment. Providers may also face municipality fees for each small cell installed. According to AT&T, different cities in California charge between $2,600 to $8,000 annually for each small cell attachment. Other cities charge between $1,500 to $2,000 annually per attachment.

Frequently asked questions about the future of 5G

As 5G gets introduced by major companies like Verizon and AT&T, we of course have questions about how 5G will affect the internet we already use each day.

Will 4G go away?

No, 4G and 4G LTE provide the foundation for 5G wireless networks. For instance, Verizon says it’s building 5G networks on top of the 4G LTE network. Just as many providers have not phased out 3G coverage since 3G often fills gaps in 4G coverage, 4G networks will supplement new 5G networks.

In the meantime, providers continue to improve 4G network capabilities. 4G networks will use enhanced MIMO and improved carrier aggregation, which both improve 4G bandwidth and data transmission speeds. According to Forbes, 4G speeds could potentially reach up to 600 Mbps, so providers still view 4G as important for future networks.

Will fiber internet go away?

No, at least Verizon says their fiber internet will not go away. Since fiber internet has fast speeds, low latency and is expensive to build, existing fiber internet services will remain.

Fiber internet can also adapt to future speed and bandwidth demands more easily than cable or satellite internet. Adaptability will be necessary in future years when speed demands could reach up to 10 Gbps, according to ZDNet. 5G fixed wireless internet and fiber internet will likely supplement each other for the next few years, although you may see fiber internet growth slow.

Do I need a new 5G phone for 5G service?

Yes, as 5G mobile service emerges across the U.S., you’ll need a new 5G smartphone or 5G enabled device to connect to 5G mobile networks. According to CNET, 18 mobile device makers have committed to developing devices with a 5G modem, which is the technology piece connecting a mobile device to the internet.

Will iPhones connect to 5G networks?

Current iPhones do not have the technology to connect to 5G mobile service. As of February 2018, it’s still unclear what technology future iPhones will use to connect to 5G networks. However, according to Apple Insider, it appears that Intel may manufacture 5G modems for new Apple devices.

When will new 5G smartphones and devices come out?

New 5G smartphones and devices will likely come out throughout 2019. According to Tom’s Guide, the first 5G-ready smartphones will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in February 2019. Many providers plan to launch 5G wireless networks for mobile devices in 2019, so new devices will likely come out throughout the year.

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