Verizon, Samsung pick DC for early 5G tests

WASHINGTON — Verizon Wireless and Samsung plan to begin 5G wireless network tests in 11 markets, including D.C., starting in April.

While the next-generation 5G is not expected to be commercially available for several more years, Samsung and Verizon said the customer trials will deliver fixed wireless access to customer connectivity to gauge user experiences, evaluate the performance of 5G technologies and help streamline 5G delivery across various environments.

New beam-forming antennae using advanced wave spectrum are being deployed throughout selected business and residential neighborhoods.

Washington was among the markets chosen because the area has varied terrain, neighborhood layouts and population density.

“This represents a major leap forward in offering 5G fixed wireless access to consumers. The 5G challenges we will address and the customer feedback we receive will help lay the foundation for future business models and customer applications,” said Young-ky Kim, head of networks business for Samsung Electronics.

Neither Verizon nor Samsung has said publicly how pilot customers have been or will be chosen.

AT&T is also moving closer to testing 5G technology on a wide scale.

5G is expected to provide carriers with significantly improved broadband service, akin to cable connections, helping relieve network connections and meet the ever-increasing demand of customers for data.

According to Bloomberg News, carriers and phone makers area projected to invest a collective $200 billion a year in 5G, citing estimates by the research firm IHS.

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