Verizon’s 5G wireless will soon become a practical reality… if not quite the way you might expect.
Big Red has announced that it’s launching residential 5G broadband (that is, fixed-in-place wireless) in three to five markets starting in the second half of 2018. Most details aren’t nailed down at this point, but the rollout will begin in Sacramento, California.
It’s no shock as to why Verizon is showing its cards so early. The carrier is in fierce competition with fellow incumbent AT&T, which has also been trialing 5G and hopes to deploy it nationwide by the end of 2018. Verizon wants you to know it’s keeping pace and will have a real, publicly available 5G service ready to go within a matter of months.
No, this isn’t the cellphone access you might be looking for, it’s still an important milestone. It’s not just that 5G is extremely fast, promising hundreds of megabits per second — it’s that its latency is low enough to improve very time-sensitive tasks like action gaming and multi-user VR. How well it works in real-world commercial service is yet to be determined, but home 5G may be the first fixed wireless that’s about as responsive as a good landline connection.