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5G coming to a town near you courtesy of Verizon and Samsung

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Well who’d have thought it? With so much operator talk of 5G ‘partnerships’ and ‘intentions’ and ‘innovation’ yadda yadda yadda; it was only Samsung that went and bloody got there first!

Least, that’s what the consumer electronics giant reckons. It has announced a partnership with Verizon for fixed wireless access 5G consumer trials will begin in earnest within the next few months. Lucky, lucky Verizon punters across New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington will be among the first in the world to get their grubby mitts on the first incarnation of 5G.

‘But how did they do it?’ telcos around the world must be chuntering to themselves. Well, kids, the special sauce is, actually, all of the ingredients we know of already – Samsung and Verizon are just putting all of those ingredients together to create a lovely, freshly baked 5G pie.

A splash of millimetre wave, a dash of beamforming and a whole bunch of other miscellaneous technology that makes for a lots of tasty 5G-ness, but an increasingly challenging and confusing metaphor.

Samsung says its 5G Access Units have been installed throughout a city’s neighbourhoods, and will dovetail nicely with a little bit of NFV. The NFV input is for a Samsung virtualized core network being run on Verizon’s data centres – with NFV doing what NFV is supposed to do: lots of software-driven benefits and the ability to scale up and down depending on what the operator needs at the time.

The fixed wireless system will see Verizon deliver 5G wireless connectivity as a form of traditionally-fixed access. Samsung claims pre-commercial testing activities back in December saw the same system and infrastructure measure throughputs of many Gbps up to 500 metres away – as our colleagues over at Light Reading wrote, it will be interesting to learn from these trials just how many residencies or businesses can be catered for at any one time on this infrastructure.

Of course, everyone is really pleased and excited about it. “We are excited to deliver the first end-to-end 5G connectivity in the United States with Verizon,” said Samsung’s Youngky Kim.

“We are really pleased about the progress made with partners like Samsung on advancing 5G technology commercially,” said Verizon’s CITO Roger Gurnani. “Delivering 5G to these pilot customers is an important step in assessing the business model and customer experience for delivering wireless broadband via 5GSamsung’s early and extensive development in 5G has been very valuable in contributing to Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum progress.”

Elsewhere Verizon has recruited Ericsson to help with the cloud side of things and Ericsson is also getting chummy with Sprint to help it exploit some of its 2.5 GHz spectrum. With all this 5G yumminess being consumed before the show even starts, we need to be careful we’re not totally spent by the time MWC actually starts.

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