Verizon says the specification’s guidelines on testing and validating 5G components will help chipset vendors, network equipment makers, and others develop interoperable 5G gear that will assist with pre-standard testing and fabrication.
However, it’s unclear if Verizon’s 5G specs will be interoperable with the wireless industry’s 5G standard when it becomes available. The 3GPP, the mobile industry standards body responsible for creating the 5G standard, says it won’t have the first 5G radio spec available until June 2018.
The 3GPP has been under pressure from wireless operators to develop a timeline for standards as some are concerned about non-standard 5G deployments occurring before 2018.
Verizon’s releasing of its own 5G specs today seems to validate some of those concerns.
Verizon says its 5G specs were formulated with input from members of its 5G Technology Forum, which includes companies such as Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Samsung, and Qualcomm. Verizon and its technology partners formed the 5G Technology Forum in September 2015 at the same time that the wireless carrier revealed its 5G trial plans.
Verizon is already touting its early 5G trial results. During an investor conference in May, CEO Lowell McAdam said that the company’s fixed wireless trial in Basking Ridge, N.J., had achieved 1.8 Gb/s speeds.
The U.S. wireless carrier has always maintained that it wants to lead in 5G, and Verizon says the goal of its pre-commercial trials is to accelerate the pace of innovation. The company says it already has validated several 5G technologies like multiple antenna array processing and carrier aggregation.
Coordinating with Asia
Verizon is also coordinating with Asian operators KT, NTT DoCoMo, and SK Telecom on 5G through its 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance. The goal of the Alliance is to share 5G trial information among the operators. A further goal is to help speed along standards development and achieve economies of scale when it comes time for 5G equipment and devices.
In addition, Verizon late last month said it was collaborating closely with KT on software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). It also said it was working with KT on GiGA technologies.
What is GiGA?
Last year KT announced that it was the first GiGA LTE operator—which means that it has achieved a maximum download speed of 1.17 Gb/s by combining its LTE network with localized WiFi networks. KT says it can provide that service by using a mix of 140,000 WiFi hotspots and 200,000 LTE base stations.
It’s unclear if Verizon will follow KT’s model. However, the company has been an advocate for deploying LTE in both licensed and unlicensed wireless spectrum bands.