Verizon has announced that it will be launching 5G in Los Angeles, with the mobile network to be deployed in the last quarter of 2018.
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Labelling Los Angeles and Sacramento -- where Verizon 5G will launch first -- "progressive-minded cities", Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said 5G networks are "a lot closer than people think".
Verizon has yet to announce the other locations in the three to five cities that will make up its early 5G deployment plans.
McAdam said Verizon will be making use of millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum for its 5G networks, having trialled the technology across 11 locations in 2017.
After last year signalling an acceleration of its 5G New Radio (NR) field trials with a goal of launching its next-generation mobile networks in 2019, Verizon in November said it would deploy between three and five 5G networks across the United States starting next year.
"Verizon estimates the market opportunity for initial 5G residential broadband services to be approximately 30 million households nationwide," the carrier said at the time, adding that the deployments would not have a material impact on its 2018 capital expenditure.
In June last year, Verizon had told ZDNet that one of the "key" parts of 5G is interoperability, with the carrier working with Ericsson, Cisco, Samsung, Intel, LG, Nokia, and Qualcomm to roll out its pre-commercial 5G trial network.
"Interoperability ... is very key," Verizon senior solutions architect Chris Painter told ZDNet.
"It's going to be a multi-vendor solution, so we need to have that interoperability."
Verizon's 11 pre-commercial 5G trial networks -- in Sacramento; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Seattle, Washington; Washington DC; Bernardsville, New Jersey; Brockton, Massachusetts; and Denver, Colorado -- were deployed throughout 2017.
It also trialled 5G during the Indianapolis 500 motor race in partnership with Intel and Ericsson in May, using technologies such as beam forming and beam tracking to attain speeds in excess of 6Gbps.
Verizon has been additionally improving its LTE networks, in October adding Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (Massive MIMO) technology across its wireless network in Irvine, California, increasing network capacity and speeds for customers in partnership with Ericsson.
Verizon on Tuesday also provided an update on using Citizen Band Radio Spectrum (CBRS) frequencies for 4G, saying it has deployed a live, commercial service on its network in Boca Raton, Florida, using the spectrum alongside Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Federated Wireless.
The Florida CBRS 4G deployment uses 50MHz of CBRS band 48 spectrum along with 700MHz spectrum, with the network attaining peak speeds of 790Mbps using multiple antennas, 256 Quadrature Amplitude Moderation (256 QAM), and carrier aggregation.
Ericsson supplied its indoor B48 Radio Dot System unit 5216 and Radio 2208 outdoor micro base station for the deployment, with Qualcomm providing its Snapdragon 845 mobile test device, and Federated Wireless contributing its Spectrum Controller spectrum access system (SAS) traffic prioritisation algorithms.
"We have been aggressively working over the past several years on deploying LTE Advanced features. We've fully deployed carrier aggregation in our licensed spectrum across our network in over 2,000 markets, and have 4X4 MIMO and 256 QAM deployed in over 810 markets nationwide for our customers," Verizon Network Engineering VP Mike Haberman said.
"Combining those features with this shared spectrum band will provide more capacity, higher peak speeds, and faster throughput when accessing the network for our customers who have come to expect the latest technology and highest reliability from Verizon."
Verizon had announced last month that it would be working with Nokia, Ericsson, Google, Qualcomm, Corning, and Federated Wireless to test LTE-Advanced technologies using CBRS.
The trials involved end-to-end system testing across 150MHz of the 3.5GHz band -- which is also being used globally for early 5G deployments -- in Verizon's Irving, Texas, facility to increase capacity and throughput speeds.
Qatari telco claims first 5G network
Ooredoo has meanwhile this week claimed to be the first carrier in the world to launch a live 5G network across the 3.5GHz spectrum band, with its "Supernet" providing coverage from the Pearl Qatar to Hamad International Airport.
"Today, Ooredoo and Qatar make history. We are the first company in the world to offer access to 5G technology and services, and the people of Qatar are the first to have access to the incredible benefits this technological upgrade will bring," Ooredoo Qatar CEO Waleed Al Sayed said.
"The 5G Supernet will be the infrastructural backbone of Qatar as our nation pushes to offer the latest smart applications in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. This network will provide the necessary foundation to introduce a wave of new innovations, including driverless cars and smart roads, virtual and augmented reality, a national fleet of service drones, and much more."
5G coverage also stretches across Lagoona, Katara Cultural Village, West Bay, the Corniche, and Souq Waqif.
No 5G-compatible mobile devices yet exist.