Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Verizon to bring 5G fixed wireless access to Houston

In a challenge to Comcast's Xfinity and AT&T's U-verse broadband and video residential services, Verizon will launch a 5G fixed wireless access service in Houston before the end of the year.

Verizon has previously announced Sacramento and Los Angeles as launch cities for its residential 5G broadband service.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, CTO and incoming CEO Hans Vestberg are hosting a news conference with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner.

“We expect 5G will be a game changer helping us usher in a new wave of progress and innovation,” said Mayor Turner. “We’re delighted to be one of the first cities to bring 5G to our local communities and look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Verizon.”

“We will be the first to offer commercial 5G service and our work with Houston put us one step closer to delivering that promise,” said Verizon’s Vestberg. “With 5G we are ushering in a fourth industrial revolution that will help reshape cities and lead to unprecedented innovation, and Houston will be at the forefront of that innovation.”

Verizon readies 5G fixed residential service launch in 2018

Verizon's first 5G application will be a fixed residential broadband service.

The first commercial launch will occur in Sacramento, California during the second half of 2018. Additional markets are also expected to launch in 2018.

Verizon did not disclose the performance characteristics of its 5G residential service but said it will provide unprecedented wireless speeds for Internet access.

Verizon estimates the market opportunity for initial 5G residential broadband services to be approximately 30 million households nationwide. The company also noted that the 5G residential rollout will not have a material impact on Verizon’s consolidated capital expenditures in 2018. CAPEX is expected to be consistent with the past several years.

“This is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon president of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer. “We appreciate our strong ecosystem partners for their passion and technological support in helping us drive forward with 5G industry standards, for both fixed and mobile applications. The targeted initial launches we are announcing today will provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G’s future deployment on the global standards.”

Verizon picks Samsung as a supplier for Fixed 5G

Verizon has selected Samsung Electronics America as a supplier of commercial 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network solutions. Verizon will begin by launching commercial 5G services in Sacramento, California in the second half of 2018. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Specifically, Samsung will provide Verizon with commercial 5G home routers (CPEs), 5G Radio Access Units (RAN) comprised of a compact radio base station and virtualized RAN elements, as well as 5G radio frequency planning services. Samsung said it has leveraged in-house technology and assets to develop the first commercial ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs.

Samsung and Verizon began 5G customer trials across seven U.S. cities in early 2017, and have successfully tested and verified 5G performance using millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency to provide FWA pre-commercial service. These trials were conducted in California, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Washington D.C.

The companies cited the following findings from their 5G testing:

  • A single 5G radio has been able to reach the 19th floor of a multi-dwelling unit (MDU).
  • Broadband service has been achieved in line of sight (LOS), partial LOS and Non-LOS connections.
  • Environmental factors, including rain and snow, have not interrupted services.

“The industry has been discussing 5G connectivity for years, and through our joint collaboration with partners like Samsung, we are beginning to make it a reality for our customers," said Ed Chan, Chief Technology Architect and Network Planning, Verizon. 

See also