While widespread consumer use of 5G is still a ways away, some Verizon customers will get to try it later this year.
Verizon says that it will begin offering 5G “pre-commercial” service to select customers in 11 markets by mid-2017. Those 11 markets are Ann Arbor, Mich.; Atlanta, Ga.; Bernardsville, NJ; Brockton, Mass.; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Houston, Texas; Miami, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Washington, D.C.
Verizon’s 5G testing will be offered in “several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations.” The testing will be conducting using Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum (5GTF) partners, which include Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
While the official 5G spec hasn’t yet been set, Verizon (and other carriers) are hoping to get a jump-start on 5G by testing the technology that they’ve already got. 5G will be a big deal, offering faster speeds and helping to get gigabit speeds to more people, and so no one wants to be late in offering 5G service.