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Verizon could deploy 5G before the standard is even finalised

5G smartphone

US operator Verizon has suggested it is considering a deployment of 5G technology even before the 3GPP has completed the standardisation process in an interview with Light Reading.

Verizon loves a 5G partnership and has apparently been working on the next generation mobile tech with pretty much every telecoms and technology company that will have it. This revelation implies at least some of these collaborations have actually yielded something and Verizon seems to think it’s ahead of the game.

The specification is “75% to 80% there” at least for a “fixed wireless use case,” according to Verizon Director of Strategy Sanyogita Shamsunder, with VP of Network Technology at Verizon Adam Koeppe conceding that deployment ahead of the 3GPP rubber stamp is a possibility. The 3GPP has committed to a June 2018 deadline for the first official specification, but two year is a long time to wait for an industry that already managed to shoehorn ‘5G’ into most of its announcements.

One of the reasons for the rush, apart from providing ammunition to telecoms CMOs straining at the leash to cash in on the next big thing, is to stake as big a claim as possible in the official standard. In the past entire multinational companies have been created on the back of owning a significant chunk of IP in wireless standards, so the stakes are high. “We expect that the vast majority of this ends up in the 3GPP specification, with some software changes down the road,” Koeppe told LR, in reference to the work of the Verizon 5G Technical Forum.

Elsewhere Vodafone Australia is also looking to get ahead of the game by commencing 5G trials this year, according to a ZDNet report. Details are thin on the ground, with the trials promising nothing more than a ‘first glimpse’ but Vodafone Australia is sticking to the corporate party line that IoT will be a major driver for 5G and it’s all-in on NB-IoT.

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2 comments

  1. blaine bateman eaf llc 25/08/2016 @ 3:42 pm

    Hi Scott–what frequency (spectrum) do you think Verizon would use for this? 2.5 GHz?

  2. Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 25/08/2016 @ 4:29 pm

    I think most of the early stuff is happening at the millimetre wave level, so more like 60 GHz.

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