5G: Powering Innovation 2

5G will give rise to an array of unprecedented innovations that will reshape cities, businesses and society as a whole. Ultimately, it will embolden great minds to rethink what’s possible and unlock the next industrial revolution and beyond.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

July 2, 2019

4 Min Read
Hans Vestberg

HansVestberg-verizon2.jpg5G, or fifth-generation wireless technology, will give rise to an array of unprecedented innovations that will reshape cities, businesses and society as a whole. While our move from 1G to 2G then 3G and 4G were incremental network improvements as well as more focused on consumer use cases 5G will be transformative. To put a fine point on it, we believe 5G will usher in a fourth industrial revolution.

When we deploy 5G residential broadband services later this year, it will be the first demonstration of how 5G can shatter common assumptions of how and where high-speed broadband can be delivered – and the first of many use cases we’ll roll out in the next 12 months. That in turn will spark applications and solutions developers to reimagine what they build – and how they deliver – products down the road.

Just as 5G will create a new way of delivering high-speed broadband into the home, it will also liberate applications that are currently reliant on a physical location using wired or Wi-Fi-based broadband connectivity. Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) experiences will be untethered from both local high-speed broadband and hardware for storage and computing. We call this the Mobile Edge Suddenly immersive experiences become ones that people can enjoy on-the-go using lightweight VR goggles or glasses.

It takes you 400 milliseconds to blink. 5G’s network latency, or response time, will be just a few milliseconds. Imagine what applications can be dreamt up to exploit this tremendous speed improvement – remote telemedicine, advanced robotics, super connected cities, smart manufacturing, self-driving vehicles and other ideas we can’t even think of today. 

New ideas continue to emerge inside Verizon, with our ecosystem partners, 5G incubator participants at Alley, based in New York City, and through unique partnerships. For example, earlier this year we teamed with the NBA to create a dedicated innovation fund to uncover new ways for fans to experience the game. While we’re working with some of the brightest minds in technology to reimagine the art of what’s possible with 5G, we’re also busy building out the network to support those ideas.   

The only network that will deliver these life-changing technologies will use millimeter wave spectrum. Millimeter wave spectrum allows 100 times better throughput, 10 times longer battery life and 1,000 times larger data volumes, and it is 10 times more reliable than existing networks. It is supported by 36 million miles of fiber and capacity improvements across our network. Millimeter wave spectrum is fed by huge pipes (of fiber) to provide hundreds of megahertz of bandwidth and deliver the full suite of services of 5G. A millimeter wave spectrum network cannot be built overnight and cannot be stood up without a dedicated investment commitment. It requires investment in fiber, millimeter wave spectrum, network virtualization and mobile edge capabilities to deliver the most advanced 5G services.

Delivering the maximum performance and promise of 5G requires a robust set of resources that serve as the building blocks of a 5G network that is truly transformative:

  • Broad deployment of 4G LTE small cells so that as soon as 5G radios and devices are available, were ready to deploy.

  • A nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave spectrum. Millimeter wave spectrum is critical to supporting the maximum throughput 5G can deliver—up to 100 times greater than today’s wireless networks.

  • Multi-use fiber strategy that the high-capacity. To support needs of 5G network as well as other elements of an Intelligent Edge Network strategy.

  • Intelligent edge network. A multipurpose and software-based network design that will help offer 5G in new, customized slices that cater to the individual needs of end users. Software-defined networking replaces hardware and makes the network more robust, flexible and cost-effective to maintain and operate.

  • Strong relationships with existing and new original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners as well as emerging startups and universities.

For 5G networks to enable the big transformational leaps in society we predict, forward-thinking and civic-minded local leaders will play a huge role and can help accelerate the benefits to their citizens and businesses. Many of the legacy processes and policies that govern technology infrastructure were written in an era when wireless was a complementary service, not one that’s central to how communities operate. And with 5G, speed of deployment means everything when creating a platform for innovation and growth. Iterative progress and half measures won’t yield the outcome city planners dream of.  

What we’re building is exciting. The possibilities are vast. But we’re at just the beginning of our 5G journey. As our vision for 5G unfolds, it will further embolden great minds to rethink what’s possible and unlock the next industrial revolution and beyond. 



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