Verizon will use pre-standard 5G gear from Samsung Electronics America for its fixed wireless deployment in Sacramento, California. Sacramento will be Verizon’s first 5G market. The operator announced last November that it planned to launch residential 5G service in three to five markets in the second half of 2018.
Specifically, Samsung will supply the operator will 5G routers, radio base stations, and virtualized radio access network (RAN) elements as well as 5G radio frequency planning. The equipment vendor said that it used its own in-house technology to develop the first 5G modems and millimeter wave (mmWave) radio frequency integrated circuits.
Samsung’s announcement comes just weeks after Ericsson said that Verizon had selected it to provide equipment for its fixed 5G deployment. Ericsson didn’t specify the markets where Verizon would use its equipment but said it will provide Verizon with 5G RAN and core network gear as well as associated transport and other services.
Both Samsung and Ericsson are members of Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum, which was formed to provide input on Verizon’s 5G specifications. Verizon released its own specification in July 2016. At the time, the operator said it was providing its 5G specs to potential vendors to help accelerate the 5G standardization process. Other companies involved in that group include Cisco, Intel, LG, Nokia, and Qualcomm.
Samsung has been involved in Verizon’s 5G fixed wireless trials that were launched last year in 11 markets around the U.S. Those test markets included Ann Arbor, Michigan; Bernardsville, New Jersey; Brockton, Massachusetts; Atlanta; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
Samsung said that based upon those trials, the company has found that environmental factors like rain and snow have not interrupted service. In addition, Samsung said that a single 5G radio can reach as high as the 19th floor of a multi-dwelling unit. And it also has been able to deliver broadband service in line of sight, partial line of sight, and even non-line of sight conditions. Environmental factors and line of sight are typically areas of concern for transmitting wireless signals over mmWave spectrum.
T-Mobile Tests 5G in Bellevue
But Verizon isn’t the only U.S. operator gearing up for 5G. T-Mobile US said it will take its 5G trials into the field. The company said that it has already achieved one milestone by conducting a data session using 28 GHz mmWave spectrum and Nokia’s 5G AirScale gear coupled with Intel’s 5G mobile trial platform. According to T-Mobile, this collaboration showed that it was possible to use equipment from different vendors and have an inter-vendor 5G network.
T-Mobile said that the next step is to test how 5G in the mmWave spectrum can be integrated with existing networks and co-exist with LTE.
“We’re laser focused on building a nationwide 5G network for mobility, one that uses multiple spectrum bands, and launching field trials for mmWave spectrum is an important step forward,” said T-Mobile US CTO Neville Ray in a statement.