5G built right for public spaces

By: Heidi Hemmer
Vice President of Technology

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Mobile 5G is here. Just a few short months ago, Verizon was first in the world to launch a commercial 5G mobile network with a commercially available 5G-enabled smartphone. 

Since then, we’ve expanded mobile services to parts of 10 US cities, 13 stadiums and have launched six 5G-enabled devices. That’s more devices than any wireless provider in the nation, and by the end of the year we expect to have 5G in over 30 cities nationwide, expanded service in stadiums and other public spaces.

Given how much has been happening in the world of 5G, and how early we are in its roll out, it’s important to take a step back and realize just how significant these developments are. Many experts believed 5G wouldn’t be commercially available until 2021 but we are actually ahead of early predictions.  The rollout of 5G to public spaces, the core tenet of Verizon’s 5G deployment strategy, began earlier this year and continues to grow, building on our brand of trust and innovation.  We are expecting enormous innovation, some of which is already happening, as we bring Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network to public spaces reaching as many people as we can.

That’s huge because we expect 5G to change how we live, work and play and ultimately pave the way for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

5G in public spaces

Providing consumers and businesses with 5G isn’t just about geographical reach – it’s about putting 5G in places where it can do the most good for the most people. By deploying 5G Ultra Wideband in areas and in public spaces where people congregate, speed, coverage and bandwidth should be immediately improved for those with 5G smartphones. 

For travelers and thrill-seekers headed to Times Square on New Year’s Eve, or to Washington D.C. for the 4th of July–or any event with large gatherings across the country—where 5G Ultra Wideband is available, imagine how it could transform the experience. The speed and bandwidth of 5G ultimately means that you should not struggle to message your friends, download pictures, or livestream the moments that matter. Even your journey there can be improved, as connectivity in airports, train stations and subways should be advanced with 5G. Concert arenas on a 5G network could potentially offer near real-time virtual reality experiences, transporting every concert goer to the best seat in the house.  

If you visit places like Brown University, in front of Union Station in Washington D.C. and parts of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, you can already experience the lightning fast speeds of 5G.  

In time, this should seem like table stakes. One of the first areas where the impact of 5G is likely to be truly be felt is at sporting events and in places like one of the 13 NFL stadiums we recently lit up with 5G. Imagine 5G Ultra Wideband not only enhancing the experience for fans with smartphones, but for everyone involved – players, coaches, and stadium operators. 5G has the potential to revolutionize the way sports are played, supercharging emerging trends such as the use of health sensors, IoT and big data together to track athlete performance in near real-time and help find a winning edge. Tens of thousands of fans in a stadium could eventually be able to access things like live game guides, multiple camera angles for live streaming, live replays, predictive game insights, and near real-time VR and AR to give you a player’s eye view. We’ve already seen some of the possibilities at a Sacramento Kings game last October and are looking forward to see what 5G can do for the first 5G Super Bowl in February.

Our strategy: 5G Built Right

Today 5G is mostly about speed and bandwidth. But it is also about latency, mobile capacity (think of over a million connected devices in a single square mile) and energy efficiency. These are the 5G properties, combined with speed and bandwidth that can be truly transformative. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network combines end-to-end fiber resources, a large deployment of small cells and significant spectrum holdings, particularly in the millimeter wave bands.

Think about spectrum as a highway and millimeter wave as a super highway with many more lanes.  This band of the spectrum can deliver more data, more quickly. It also lends itself to lower latency, higher capacity and a host of other features. 

Our 5G Ultra Wideband is built right. We’ve said all along that millimeter wave plays a vital role in our 5G strategy and millimeter wave can accommodate a massive increase in data demands from mobile users, connected homes, AR/VR devices, cloud gaming systems, self-driving vehicles, IoT sensors and other cloud-connected devices.

Not all 5G is created equal

5G could eventually touch nearly every industry sector, impact our economy in a profound way, and dramatically improve our global society. But no one really knows all of the things that are conceivable on a 5G network. Just like we couldn’t predict apps that brought us things like streaming media services and ride sharing when we first launched 4G LTE, we can’t image right now what the next 5G killer app will be. 

What we do know is that Verizon is positioned to help make whatever comes next a reality. A company can't just decide they want to offer 5G and be ready, or suddenly pivot to a millimeter wave strategy and launch effectively months later. Deploying the type of 5G network we’ve launched takes years of deliberate planning, testing, and innovating. We spotted the vast potential of a 5G network built right many years ago. We designed a strategy and organized our company around the idea of that network. Today, we’re beginning to see the fruition of those efforts. But it’s what could come tomorrow, when we move beyond smartphones and speed, that’s really exciting.

For related media inquiries, please contact Lauren.Schulz@verizon.com

About the author:

Heidi Hemmer is currently Vice President of Technology.  She leads the Transformation Program Office centered on transforming Network Architecture, organizing teams around the new architecture, optimizing and standardizing related processes, automating workflow, and ensuring efficiency at all levels.  Heidi has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in both operational field positions as well as staff support roles.  

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