Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, Explained

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Chris Ashraf

It isn’t just a next-generation network. It’s a force for change.

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5G promises more than just a faster download. The fifth generation of wireless represents a technological breakthrough that has been likened to prior Industrial Revolutions involving electricity, the steam engine and the personal computer. It has the potential to be a watershed moment in history, one that will fundamentally change the way we live, work, learn and play. The leap from 3G to 4G was huge, but the one from 4G to 5G will likely be transformational, upending entire industries and creating new ones overnight.

Yet 5G can be difficult to grasp—a reality not helped by the claims some carriers are putting in the marketplace. “Competitors say they are building 5G, but what’s important to understand is their vision of 5G is incremental,” says Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg. “What we are doing is transformational.” Only Verizon has made the necessary investments and cultivated the municipal and hardware partnerships to build a 5G-powered tomorrow, one that aims beyond hype and hits its mark right out of the gate.

In other words, there is 5G, and then there is Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.

What is Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband?

Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is a next-generation network designed and built to give both consumers and companies the ability to do more.

Having spent years densifying our fiber, spectrum and small radio cell assets, Verizon is building a network to help ensure the astonishing innovations of tomorrow—self-driving cars, remote robotic surgery, immersive classroom experiences and fully networked industrial production, to name just a few—reach their potential.

At the end of the day, Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is all about streaming, sharing and creating whenever you want, however you want. In fact, it’s already happening.

When and where will Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband be available?

In certain markets across the country, the future is now. Last fall, select customers in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Houston and Indianapolis became the first in the nation to receive in-residence commercial 5G with Verizon 5G Home Internet. On April 4, 2019, Verizon made history yet again, becoming the first in the world to launch a commercial 5G mobile network with a commercially available 5G-enabled smartphone. We turned on our 5G Ultra Wideband network, accessible with the 5G moto mod, in certain areas of Chicago and Minneapolis.

To date, we’ve brought 5G to select areas of Denver, Providence and St. Paul, and by the end of 2019 more than 30 U.S. cities will have live 5G Ultra Wideband service. We’ll also roll out Verizon 5G Home Internet in some of these markets, as hardware becomes available from manufacturers.

Verizon now has four 5G-enabled smartphones—the LG V50 ThinQ™ 5G, the Motorola moto z3 and z4 combined with the 5G moto mod, and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G—as well as the Inseego 5G MiFi® M1000 hot spot, the most 5G devices available on any 5G network.

What’s possible over Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband?

5G means more than just on-demand TV and great cloud-based gaming, served up with virtually zero buffering or lag. An estimated 20.4 billion “things” are expected to connect to the internet in the next couple years, and each of them will be clamoring for bandwidth. Seamless digital experiences—wherever they’re served up—will require a network that is as strong as the content and data delivered over it. 

Competitors say they are building 5G, but what’s important to understand is their vision of 5G is incremental. What we are doing is transformational.

— Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon

5G Ultra Wideband has the potential to drive broad, systemic transformation that not only benefits consumers and enterprises, but humanity as a whole. Some of this vital work is already happening at Verizon’s 5G Labs. At Verizon’s 5G Labs located in New York, Palo Alto, Cambridge, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, select startups, academic technology developers and established companies are given access to test out how 5G can radically improve everything from manufacturing to physical therapy. 

“One of the best ways to unleash the true possibilities of 5G Ultra Wideband is by getting it into the hands of innovators and visionaries,” says Toby Redshaw, Verizon SVP of Enterprise Innovation and 5G Solutions. “These people are getting dirt under their fingernails and building very, very cool solutions, and learning in a next-generation 5G incubator environment.”

Another way Verizon is bringing like-minded disruptors together to build the ecosystem is through innovation-spurring competitions, like the recently announced Verizon 5G NFL Mobile Gaming Challenge and the Built on 5G Challenge, a nationwide search for the best products, services and applications that will bring the true power of 5G to life. 

Similarly, Verizon’s 5G EdTech Challenge is already producing powerful AR, VR and machine learning projects that solve problems facing under-resourced middle schools. The 10 winners of the challenge are working in Verizon’s 5G Labs and have been given access to live 5G technology, Verizon mentorship and support teams within the education community. Eventually, the winning concepts will be integrated into the curriculums of those participating in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Program, a philanthropic venture of the Verizon Foundation, where free technology, free internet access and hands-on learning experiences help give students the education they deserve.

Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband isn’t just a next-generation network. It’s a force for change.

The future will ride on Verizon 5G

Steam engines. Electricity. Personal computers. Each of these technologies kicked off an industrial revolution that transformed how people connected and experienced their world. Today, many argue that 5G will usher in a change of similar magnitude—a Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The digital and physical realms will blend as never before. Doctors will create new ways to help patients. Cars will communicate with each other. But only if a resilient, reliable 5G network is in place.

The scale of this effort can’t be reduced to a Tweet or sound bite. At the end of the day, 5G Ultra Wideband is about unparalleled digital experiences. If people can dream it, Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband can help deliver it. That’s why we always say: We don’t wait for the future. We build it.

Apply now for the Built on 5G Challenge and the Verizon 5G NFL Mobile Gaming Challenge.

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