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​Verizon aims to step up networking game with 5G, software defined

Plans to give 5G a spin in 2016 and a move to software defined infrastructure could portend a lucrative future for Verizon.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Verizon's is betting big on its networking prowess to launch 5G services down the road and then used software defined architecture to launch services quickly.

On Tuesday, Verizon outlined plans to push trials of so-called 5G service in 2016. Verizon and partners including equipment makers Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung have formed working teams on 5G.

Sandboxes are being set up in Waltham, Mass. and San Francisco. 5G service can be 50 times faster than 4G LTE and could enable streaming of video and a bevy of applications ranging from entertainment to enterprise to the Internet of things.

CNET's Roger Cheng has more details on the 5G plans, but the takeaways go like this:

  • 5G will be years away from being available on your smartphone.
  • Enterprise applications could come first.
  • Verizon's incentive to build a 5G network is to keep a lead and preserve profit margins.
  • Spectrum will be needed to make 5G a reality.
  • Software defined networking will enable Verizon to launch services for consumers and companies quickly on top of 5G at some point.

On the enterprise front, Verizon is also busy launching software defined services with the help of Cisco.

It's early, but Verizon's grand networking plan is becoming clear. Create one fast network that's wired, wireless and connected and then sell services that can be provisioned on the fly quickly.

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