The 5G future is closer than you think

By: Charla Rath
Rich Young
T. 202.515.2514
The 5G future is closer than you think

In the last decade, advances in how we communicate have redefined what it means to “be online.” Consumers are ditching desktops and laptops for sleek, handheld devices. Today, millions of Americans use these devices as their primary means to get online. And our devices are not just useful for searching the Internet, but are beginning to help us manage important parts of our lives. In the next decade, the development of the next generation of wireless services – 5G – and the increasing ability to connect devices as well as people will be truly transformational.

Today Verizon will file comments in the FCC’s Spectrum Frontiers proceeding, in which the FCC is exploring the possibility of using millimeter wave frequencies for mobile broadband. By launching this proceeding, and proposing to give current millimeter wave licensees the flexibility to bring new services to market quickly, the FCC has begun to pave the way for 5G. 5G could enable about 50 times the throughput of 4G LTE, latency in the single milliseconds, and the ability to handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices to accommodate the explosion of the Internet of Everything.

The potential for using millimeter wave frequencies is one of the most exciting aspects of 5G. Until recently, engineers considered millimeter wave spectrum unsuitable for mobile broadband. But advances in radio and processing technologies show great promise for these spectrum bands to produce significant bandwidth for wireless applications. The FCC has already taken aggressive steps to make this spectrum available for the next generation of wireless networks to the benefit U.S. consumers and the U.S. economy. Our comments filed today in this FCC proceeding urge the FCC to move forward quickly with simple, straightforward rules.

With Verizon leading the pack, U.S. mobile carriers beat the rest of the world in 4G LTE deployment – Verizon’s LTE network alone covers 98 percent of the population of the United States. And last year, working with our 5G Technology Forum partners, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung, Verizon announced plans to bring 5G to the United States. We have already begun field testing 5G, and will launch some level of commercial deployment in 2017.  The FCC’s  swift action in this proceeding will be critical to whether the United States retains its global leadership in advanced wireless communications. We look forward to working with the FCC  to make this happen.

Charla Rath is Vice President, Wireless Policy Development. She is responsible for developing and managing many of Verizon’s public policy initiatives related to spectrum management. Charla is particularly focused on alternative spectrum auction mechanisms and developing sources of spectrum for future needs, including 5G.  She is a member of the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) and the IEEE Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DySPAN) Steering Committee.