5 things you need to know about 5G technology in the second half of 2023
Learn how developments in and around 5G may impact the second half of the year, for individuals and businesses alike.
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Innovations like 5G-enabled search-and-rescue drones. Capacity that allowed fans to use nearly 43 TB of data at the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix. And technology like network virtualization. The capabilities of 5G keep expanding so quickly, it can be hard to keep up. The bottom line is that all of this progress means better performance and security, in more places, with Verizon.
With that in mind, what’s important for people and businesses to know about 5G technology as we head into the second half of 2023? Here’s a look at what’s coming.
1. 5G capacity is increasing. 5G technology uses a set of radio frequencies, or spectrum, to carry data, and Verizon is on track to continue deploying more spectrum in more areas in the second half of 2023 and beyond. These deployments focus on C-Band—a mid-band spectrum that offers higher speed than low-band spectrum with more coverage than high-band. C-Band is a core component of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.
In 2021, Verizon more than doubled its mid-band spectrum holdings—adding an average of 161 MHz of C-Band in each of the 406 markets in the US—in the FCC’s C-Band spectrum auction held that year. Verizon has had limited access to that spectrum so far, but by the end of the year, customers will be able to take advantage of double or in some markets nearly three times the amount of spectrum as it becomes available for 5G Ultra Wideband. That additional bandwidth will turbo charge the service, offering significantly higher speeds, much greater capacity to accommodate more customers and more robust services.
As Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said during the Verizon Q1 2023 earnings call, “We’re excited about the remaining deployment of C-Band spectrum and the potential it will unlock for both our business and consumer performance.”
2. 5G Ultra Wideband will reach more people. More than 200 million people now have access to 5G Ultra Wideband—a target that Verizon’s network team hit ahead of schedule. That number is expected to grow as the team introduces 5G Ultra Wideband service into more rural and suburban areas (the C-Band expansion mentioned above is a key part of this). View the Verizon coverage map to see if 5G Ultra Wideband is available near you.
3. 5G Home Internet and 5G Business Internet will gain more attention. Verizon 5G Home and Business Internet are fixed wireless access (FWA) solutions that are powered by 5G Ultra Wideband. With these 5G technology solutions, customers get high-speed internet service via a 5G antenna instead of a cable connection. FWA is flexible and easy to set up.
FWA is also increasingly popular: An April 2023 report by Boston Consulting Group says FWA solutions have become a mainstream alternative to satellite and fiber-optic cable for broadband connections. The number of US subscribers is increasing rapidly and is predicted to hit 11 million by 2025.
As Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband expands through the end of 2023 and beyond (see above), Verizon 5G Home and 5G Business Internet will become available in more areas. “[FWA] is one of the biggest 5G use cases we have right now,” Vestberg said during the Q1 earnings call.
4. AR and VR may get more attention. Technology news site The Next Web called 2023 “The year of the AR glasses.” If that comes about, it could be thanks to 5G.
To date, bandwidth requirements have limited most augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems to home or office settings—a great experience depends on reliable high-speed internet connections and low latency. Widespread use of AR and VR—meaning, on the go and outside the home or office—might depend on systems that are more mobile because they integrate 5G technology for high-speed, low-latency data transfer.
5. Private 5G networks and private MEC are reaching more industries. A private 5G network allows an enterprise to have a custom on-site 5G network that is tailored to their specific use case—providing fast, reliable connectivity with greater capacity and coverage than Wi-Fi. This 5G technology can be beneficial for manufacturing and Internet of Things capabilities, venue-specific communications, smart city solutions and lots of other use cases. Adding private mobile edge computing (MEC) to that network moves computing power to the network’s edge, meaning the system can benefit from ultra-low latency in situations where analysis is needed in near-real-time, such as manufacturing and quality control.
Private 5G and MEC are currently making headlines in areas like healthcare (the Cleveland Clinic, one of the world’s largest healthcare providers, is using a private 5G network) and sports (all 30 US NFL stadiums will use private 5G for reliable coach-to-coach communications starting this season). And more headlines will come as enterprises experience the latest 5G technology and see what private 5G and MEC can offer.
1. Based on most first-place rankings in RootMetrics® 2H 2022 assessments of 125 metros. Experiences may vary. Not an endorsement. Tested with best commercially available smartphones on three national mobile networks across all available network types. Your experiences may vary. RootMetrics rankings are not an endorsement of Verizon.