Verizon Business returns with 5G Innovation Session Tour, kicking-off in Chicago

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Verizon Business launches the 2023 5G Innovation Session Tour with Ericsson at Soldier Field on April 19

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BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Following a successful tour across six cities in 2022, Verizon Business is bringing back the 5G Innovation Sessions, a series of events that showcase the power of 5G through dynamic, immersive demonstrations of forward-looking use cases. Partnering with Ericsson for this first event, Verizon Business is kicking off the 2023 tour, planned for six cities, with a session at Chicago’s legendary Soldier Field.

The first session will feature presentations, panels, and demonstrations by industry leaders and product experts from Verizon Business, Ericsson, Medivis, UC Davis Health, IBM and KSI Data Sciences.

“The magic of 5G and edge computing comes to life when we put our heads together with partners and co-innovate,” said Jennifer Artley, SVP, 5G Acceleration, Verizon Business. “These technologies are flexible and scalable, which allows us to collaborate and problem solve in creative ways. Whether you’re a tech strategist researching the latest data capabilities, an industry veteran recognizing the need to adapt, an IT pro staying up to date, or a business owner on the hunt for new ways to optimize your operations, you’ll come away from the Innovation Sessions with new ideas and solutions.”

Innovations featured will include 5G Edge Crowd Analytics, 5G Edge Accelerated Access, 5G Edge Cashierless Checkout, 5G Edge Aerial Inspections, 5G Business Internet, Mission-Critical Networks, Time Critical Communications, Private 5G, 5G Driving and 5G Robotics.

“We’re seeing strong momentum for 5G private networks,” said Sandra Cutrona, Vice President and Head of Business Development for Customer Unit Verizon, Ericsson North America. “Together with Verizon, Ericsson is focusing on providing premium solutions for enterprise use cases that are commercially ready for deployment. These private business and mission-critical networks and solutions are enabling high-performing, resilient and secure connectivity for a variety of industries including manufacturing, utilities, public safety, ports, and entertainment venues.”

The event will be held at Soldier Field, located at 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive in Chicago on April 19, featuring several prominent executives including Jennifer Artley, Senior Vice President, 5G Acceleration, Verizon Business; Scott Lawrence, Senior Vice President, Global Solutions, Verizon Business; Andy Brady, Vice President, Enterprise Sales, Verizon Business; Danny Johnson, Director, Product Marketing, Verizon Business; Arvin Singh, Managing Director, Global 5G & Edge Innovation, Verizon Business; Sandra Cutrona, Vice President and Head of Business Development for Customer Unit Verizon, Ericsson North America; Matt Bittner, Chief Commercial Officer, Medivis; Jon Gaster, Chief Executive Officer, KSI Data Sciences; Scott Campbell, Global Manager, ESG & Asset Management Product Success, IBM and Dr. Yauheni Solad, Vice President of Innovation, UC Davis Health.

Visit this Verizon 5G Innovation Sessions link to RSVP.

Verizon’s commitment to Chicago

The network in Chicago has been dramatically upgraded over the past several months. Currently, 85% of the cell sites serving the Chicago area provide 5G Ultra Wideband using Verizon’s recently acquired C-band spectrum. In addition to a rapid deployment of 5G Ultra Wideband service using C-band spectrum, engineers in Chicago have built 13 new macro cell sites and over 700 small cell sites to provide service throughout the community. Chicago’s exceptional 5G coverage uses a combination of mmWave spectrum and Verizon’s recently acquired C-band spectrum. Verizon engineers are using 60 MHz of C-band spectrum to deliver 5G service to customers. By the end of the year, customers in Chicago will be able to take advantage of even more spectrum – more than doubling the bandwidth available now - 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. Lastly, the addition of 5G service and the many additional wireless solutions allow far more data to travel on the wireless network in Chicago. That exponential increase in data carried into and out of the cell sites serving the community requires upgraded fiber optic cable links. Fiber optic cables are used to move data between cell sites and connect those sites to the rest of the network. Verizon has increased the capacity on the fiber connections in many cell sites in the Chicago area so they can carry 10 times the amount of data.

Over the last decade, working through nonprofit partners and a suite of programs and resources, Verizon Innovative Learning has committed $1 billion in market value to support digital equity and inclusion within education for some of the most vulnerable populations across the country. To date, the initiative has reached over 3 million students at schools across the U.S., including Title I schools.

In the Chicago Public School District, over 4,500 new students will be welcomed to the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program across seven schools in the 2023-2024 academic year - equipping them with free technology, internet access and innovative STEM learning programs.

Additionally, all educators and students have access to Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, our free next-gen online education portal that provides XR content, professional development, and lesson plans.Through Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan, Verizon has a goal to provide 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030.

Verizon also offers free resources through Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, designed to help SMBs grow their business, including workshops, 1:1 and group coaching, webinars, networking events and mentorship opportunities with industry experts on topics ranging from customer care, employee experience, pivoting business during changing economic conditions and leveraging social media for growth.

Supporting first responders who serve Illinois

Last year alone, the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team responded to 60 separate requests for support from nearly 25 different public safety agencies in Illinois, including those in and around the Chicago metropolitan area.

During 2022, the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team helped enable mission-critical communications capabilities for Illinois first responders during emergency situations by delivering nearly 500 Verizon Frontline devices and solutions directly to the front lines.

These solutions ranged from mobile hotspots, routers and smart devices to deployable satellite solutions, such as Satellite Picocells on Trailers (SPOTs) and more. 

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and first responders on a 24/7 basis. This support is provided at no cost to local agencies and represents a continuation of Verizon Frontline’s 30-year commitment to partnering with public safety.

Love your network. Love your phone.

For consumers, Chicago is a 5G Home and 5G Ultra Wideband city and one of the first cities in the world to get 5G-enabled smartphones connected to a 5G network. Verizon is the nation’s most reliable 5G network1, but not everyone knows how affordable it is to join. For a limited time, Verizon is giving you up to $800 to get a new 5G smartphone when you trade in select old phones and switch to Verizon, or add a new line, with a select 5G Unlimited plan.

You can save even more when you pair your mobile service with Verizon Home Internet. Plans start at just $25 per month with AutoPay and a select 5G mobile plan. The price is guaranteed for two or three years, depending on your plan.

About the 5G Innovation Sessions

Verizon’s 5G Innovation Sessions will take place in New York (June), San Francisco (August), Los Angeles (October), Washington, D.C. (November), and concludes in Dallas (December).The events cover a range of themes, including Managed Venue, Fixed Wireless Access, Private 5G, and Mobile Edge Compute.


1 Most reliable: based on more first place rankings in RootMetrics® 5G data reliability assessments of 125 metro markets: 2H 2022. Tested with best commercially available smartphones on three mobile networks across all available network types. Experiences may vary. Not an endorsement of Verizon.

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