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5G technology: Why—and how—it matters

The Verizon 5G future is here. Are you ready?


Q. What exactly is 5G?

A. 5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications.

To understand 5G, it’s helpful to understand what came before it. 1G, the first generation of mobile technology, gave us mobile voice. 2G introduced a short-messaging layer, which is still part of today’s texting features. 3G delivered the network speeds necessary for smartphones. And 4G, with its blazing-fast data-transfer rates, empowers many of today’s connected devices and services.

5G will provide data transfer rates many times faster than the blink of an eye, massive bandwidth, and greater connectivity and reliability. With 5G, your organization will be ready. Ready for creativity. Innovation. Transformation.

Q. What makes a 5G network?

A. 5G is a collection of different technologies and tools used to advance wireless capabilities.

Q. What’s the technology behind 5G?

A. 5G is a collection of different technologies and tools used to advance wireless capabilities.

Different carriers are using different technologies, tools and frequencies to advance their wireless network’s capabilities to 5G. Some are embracing spectrum at the frequencies below 6 GHz (sub–6 GHz).

Verizon, on the other hand, is uniquely positioned to make use of the higher spectrum.

The millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum is a whole new ballgame. It can carry massive amounts of data at very high speeds, with minimal latency. It will also accommodate a massive increase in data demands from consumers, whether they are mobile-first users or sophisticated and fully connected industry innovators.

Q. Is all 5G the same?

A. Definitely not. There are four key elements that make Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband different from the 5G being touted by our competitors:

1.    Massive fiber resources. We have spent years deploying a massive fiber network while densifying our 4G LTE network with fiber-fed small cells. This fiber network is integral to delivering a revolutionary 5G network.

2.    Small-cell deployment. Verizon has also spent years installing new small cells to densify its 4G LTE network. Many 4G locations will be used for 5G.

3.    Critical spectrum holdings. Verizon has secured a large portfolio of millimeter-wave spectrum through company and license acquisitions to help ensure that customers receive the best 5G network experience.

4.    Edge computing. We have network locations nationwide that are ideally suited to housing edge-computing resources. Edge computing enables cloud servers to run closer to endpoints, reducing latency and speeding local processing.

5G has the potential to join a very exclusive club—the handful of technologies throughout history that transform industries across every sector of the economy … redefining work, elevating living standards, and having a profound and sustained impact on our global economic growth.”

Ronan Dunne

Executive Vice President and Group President, Verizon Wireless


Q. What kind of speeds are we talking about?

A. High speed was our goal from the start. We were first to reach 953 Mbps in a real-world environment using Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) and the first to smash the gigabit speed barrier in wireless. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband has the potential to deliver peak data rates of over 10 Gbps. Downloads that used to take minutes will take seconds, 4K video will stream with virtually no buffering and you’ll be able to video-chat in HD with near zero lag.

Q. What will the 5G network enable?

A. With gigabit speeds, wide bandwidth and potential for less than 10 ms end-to-end response times, 5G Ultra Wideband will make driverless cars, cloud-connected traffic control, high-precision industrial automation, augmented and virtual reality, and other applications that depend on high speeds and near real-time latency live up to their potential.

It will also unleash the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) with ultra-available, low-latency links and the ability to support from 10 to 100 times more connected devices. New uses cases and transformational capabilities will swell the number of connected “things” from 8.4 billion today to 20.4 billion in 2020.

Verizon is working with local innovators to grow the 5G ecosystem at our 5G Labs in New York City, Washington, DC; Cambridge, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles. Together,

we are exploring the boundaries of 5G network technology, co-creating new applications and hardware, and rethinking what’s possible.

With 5G, the possibilities for innovation are limitless.

Q. When and where will the Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network be available?

A. The Verizon 5G future has arrived. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is now available in select parts of Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver and Providence.

By the end of 2019, 5G Ultra Wideband will be available in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and Washington, DC.

Verizon 5G Home/Residential Broadband is available in Indianapolis, Houston, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

You can harness the power of 5G Ultra Wideband with our new 5G-capable devices.

And don’t worry, 4G LTE is not going away anytime soon. Verizon offers great capabilities to support multiple services. We have invested in a wide range of spectrums that will continue to support 4G LTE devices for the foreseeable future, so our customers can continue building robust machine-to-machine (M2M) sensor networks with low-cost and low-power CAT-1, CAT-M1 and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) connections today, as well as establish the data pipeline they will use in their 5G ecosystems tomorrow

Learn more:

Click here for more information about  5G Ultra Wideband or contact your Verizon Wireless business specialist.


The above content is provided for information purposes only. All information included herein is subject to change without notice. Verizon is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to use or reliance of the above content.