Verizon’s Nicola Palmer: We set the 5G bar high with millimeter wave spectrum

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Nicki Palmer delivers keynote in Austin, TX

Verizon’s chief network engineering officer and head of wireless networks, Nicola Palmer, told an audience at 5G North America in Austin TX that Verizon will be first to launch 5G residential broadband service in the U.S. and also shared the news that Verizon chairman and CEO had just announced on CNBC in New York that Los Angeles would be one of the first cities to get the service, joining Sacramento and two other yet-to-be-named cities.

Delivering a keynote outlining Verizon’s path to 5G and the results of the company’s successful millimeter wave spectrum field trials conducted last year, Palmer said the ongoing development and deployment of 5G is one of the great technology challenges of our time.

“5G has the potential to change the ways we all live, work, learn and play,” she said. “We believe 5G will actually usher in the fourth industrial revolution.”

Palmer said 5G will extend more choices in broadband access through fixed wireless technology. It will also expand the boundaries of the mobile broadband experience – driving the development of truly immersive experiences through augmented and virtual reality, and opening up a platform for new use cases such as telemedicine, immersive learning, remote robotics, autonomous vehicles and even networks of drones.

“We believe you can either sit back and wait for the future to unfold, or you can build the future now.”

Verizon’s path to 5G starts with residential broadband service on millimeter wave spectrum, she said.

“It is the best entry point and the first of many 5G use cases for customers, based on our millimeter wave spectrum availability, the potential it has to make an immediate impact for customers, and the results we saw in our field tests last year.

“We also get to go up against the local cable providers and disrupt the local markets with a brand new, really compelling alternative for their customers. That will be fun!”

Palmer said millimeter wave’s massive bandwidth and capability to deliver peak gigabit speeds and single-digit latency are tailor-made for “bridging the last mile” and bringing super high-speed broadband service into the homes of our digital-first customers – customers whose increasing use of streaming video, connected home devices, remote working and advanced gaming are driving the need for more high-speed connections.

Residential broadband may be our first use case, Palmer said, but it’s just the beginning – a mobile 5G solution is on its way too. 

“In the end, it’s the same physical network.”

Palmer concluded her keynote by addressing a topic that’s very important to her: ensuring the promise of the digital world reaches everyone – no matter their geographic location or socioeconomic status – and preparing more women and diverse candidates for positions in technical fields through STEM education programs.

“Hiring women and people of color, and nurturing next-generation diverse talent through STEM education, mentoring and purposeful development are essential for us all to succeed.”

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