Verizon to start testing 5G technology


Business man with a mobile phone on a modern technology background

Last Tuesday Verizon announced plans to begin testing 5G wireless technology sometime next year with some level of commercial deployment by 2017.

According to The Verge, Verizon described what it means to be 5G. Verizon said it sees 5G offering 50 times the throughput of current 4G LTE, latency in the single milliseconds and the ability to handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices.

According to CNET, early tests conducted by Verizon show 5G’s connection speed being 30 to 50 times faster than current 4G network. With 5G, a copy of the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” would download in 15 seconds as opposed to six minutes with 4G.

Roger Gurnani, chief information and technology architect for Verizon, discussed what the future holds.

“The future is going to bring more stuff that I can’t really describe. We can’t possibly envision the full range of disruptive products and services, but we have some possibilities,” Gurnani said.

Currently, Verizon’s focus is on technology field trials and accelerating the technology.

Students at The University of Southern Mississippi were asked to comment on their current phone service with 3G or 4G.

Walt Prince, a junior athletic training major, spoke about his experience with 4G.

“It works most of the time, but certain places I won’t have any service at all,” Prince said.

The best service Prince can get is when he is in the big cities.

“I can’t imagine anything being faster than 4G,” said Prince.

Charleston Littleton has similar experiences with 4G.

“It depends (on) where I am at. It works most of the time, but if I go out of the city or something it will break up,” Littleton said.

When asked whether they would switch to Verizon with its new 5G technology, both students had different reactions.

“If I could switch providers, I would switch to Verizon. I mean, you got to have that 5G, right?”-  Prince

Prince’s current phone provider is C-Spire.

“I would consider switching if it was cheaper,” said Littleton, whose phone provider is Sprint.

Along with Verizon, other countries are hoping to quickly develop new 5G technology. CNET reports that South Korea hopes its wireless carriers can deploy a trial 5G network in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Japan hopes to have the network running by 2020’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo. China has also aggressively pushed for deployment of 5G.

The costs of Verizon’s new 5G might be high. According to CNN back in May, Verizon increased the price of its 10 gigabyte data plan from $20 per month to $100 per month.

A 5G cost analysis published by The University of Bridgeport claims for 5G service to cost exactly the same as the current 4G plan, wireless companies would have to reduce the price of each bit of data by 1/1000th of what it costs today.

No update has been given from Verizon about how much the new 5G plan will cost when it becomes available for purchase.