Verizon says it believes the 5G specifications it released earlier this summer for vendors will move 5G closer to commercial deployment and will not cause fragmentation or lead to the deployment of pre-standardized 5G gear.
Verizon announced last year that it had formed the 5G Tech Forum along with vendors that include Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, and Apple. That group’s goal was to collaborate on some early 5G specifications and contribute those to the 3GPP, the mobile industry standards body responsible for creating the 5G standard. The 3GPP has said it won’t have the first 5G radio spec available until June 2018.
Earlier this summer Verizon released its 5G specs to potential vendors that are based upon the work of this group.
In an interview with SDxCentral, Adam Koeppe, VP of technology planning at Verizon, disputed concerns from other operators, like AT&T, that the company’s aggressive moves with 5G will lead to non-standardized gear being deployed and distract from the ultimate goal of 5G deployment.
“If we can we come to good alignment with our technical partners that adds a use case, then we are comfortable proceeding forward with it,” he says.
Koeppe added that the companies involved with the specification are all involved with the 3GPP standards group and are contributing to the official specification.
“We believe this is a more rapid way to move 5G closer to commercialization, as opposed to waiting until 2020,” Koeppe said.
Plus, Verizon’s specs are specifically for a fixed wireless use case, Koeppe said, adding that not all operators will have a fixed wireless use case.
Interestingly, AT&T is also forming a similar group to help speed 5G commercialization. However, this group’s goal is to speed deployment after the 3GPP finishes the first release of its official specifications. AT&T said it is talking to potential partners like China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, KDDI, LG, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung, SK Telecom, Telstra, and Vodafone.
Verizon’s 5G work isn’t just with vendors. The operator also is hoping to accelerate its deployment of 5G by collaborating with Asian operators KT, NTT DoCoMo, and SK Telecom. The operators have formed a 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance with the goal of sharing 5G trial information and identifying early 5G use cases.
According to Koeppe, the operators are coordinating on the type of 5G testing that is being done and some, like Verizon, are exploring fixed wireless use cases. “All of these operators want to move equally fast,” Koeppe said. “And we are tightly aligned on what testing is being done.”
Koeppe added that some of the other Asian operators are looking at fixed wireless and have earmarked the 28 GHz spectrum for 5G. For example, KT is planning to use 28 GHz spectrum for a fixed wireless 5G service and is targeting the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Pyeongchan, South Korea for its 5G debut.