Not too long ago, Verizon Wireless adopted their upgraded data network technology to LTE and users began to see a roll out of the high speed network in major markets. With more and more data hungry devices flooding their streams, upgrades were made, speeds were managed and the best network in the country continued its dominance of the airwaves in an almost too easy fashion. Stepping into today, Verizon is once again on the front lines of the data race with their announcement that they are in the beginning phases of testing of their next generation data network and the first 5G network in the US.
Even with the field testing scheduled to begin in 2016, it could be a few years before the network is rolled out for normal usage. Currently, even the best “4G LTE” devices only offer downloads of upwards of 150Mbps, which is a fraction of what the new 1Gbps theoretical speeds are of the new network. For users to see a dramatic improvement in network speeds, new hardware would be needed and towers in their areas would have to be retooled completely to the new standards.
The projected launch date of the 5G network is still slated for as far out as 2020, but with live testing being bumped forward, perhaps Verizon is trying to get a jump on the 4.5G Sprint Spark TD-LTE network that is rolling out to select markets now. While we don’t see a need for the average user to venture much over 10Mbps, the excitement of seeing the next generation of mobile data rolling out is something special