Ericsson scored the first pre-standard 5G equipment deal. The infrastructure vendor announced that it will provide Verizon with 5G radio access network (RAN) and core network gear as well as associated transport and other services.
The two companies said they will have commercial 5G networks available in some U.S. markets by the second half of 2018.
The equipment is based upon Verizon’s own specification that it released in July 2016. At the time, Verizon said it was providing its 5G specs to potential vendors to help accelerate the 5G standardization process. The company’s 5G specs were formulated with input from members of its 5G Technology Forum, which included Ericsson. Other companies involved in that group include Cisco, Intel, LG, Nokia, Samsung, and Qualcomm.
The service provider has always downplayed the fact that its pre-standard 5G deployment would not be 3GPP-standard compliant. One Verizon executive told us at Mobile World Congress 2017 that it will likely only require a software upgrade for its pre-standard fixed 5G to become standards compliant.
Last month Verizon said it planned to launch fixed residential 5G service in three to five markets in the second half of 2018. Sacramento, California, will be the first market to receive the service. The operator declined to name additional markets.
Verizon has been testing its fixed 5G service in 11 markets, focusing primarily on residential broadband. Those test markets were launched earlier this year and include Ann Arbor, Michigan; Bernardsville, New Jersey; Brockton, Massachusetts; Atlanta; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.