5G Rollout Update: How Long will We Have to Wait?


Like everyone else, you’ve been holding your breath waiting for the miracle of hyper-fast 5G speed to reach fruition.  So, we’ve written this 5G rollout update.  We know it’s coming.  It’s getting mighty real.  But how close are we to the 5G world?

2018 has seen Verizon’s launch of a service for home users using 5G and AT&T ran a live test on 5G from a device.  As we move into 2019, we’ll see 5G rolling out as actual networks and phones that support it.

It’s looking like we’ll be seeing access to 5G (fifth generation) internet in the first half of the new year.

Wired for Speed

Connectivity will be revolutionized with the advent of 5G, offering augmented and virtual reality experiences which are completely new.  It’s about a lot more than phones, though.  Smart homes and wired vehicles will get a boost from the dawn of 5G, bringing continual connection and no lag.

Sure, you’ll be needing a new phone.  But handsets?  They’re just part of the 5G equation.  We’re entering the “post-smartphone era”, as described by Intel’s GM for 5G, Robert J. Topol, but they’re also in the vanguard of 5G rollout because of the undeniable role personal devices play in our lives.

Being connected is about to undergo a 5G revolution.

Carriers to the Battlements

We’ve briefly mentioned Verizon’s early sortie into the realm of 5G.  This occurred in October 2018 in a test group of cities which included Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Houston and Sacramento.  Verizon is forecasting rollout for early 2019, accompanied by a new Samsung handset offering to launch before June/July.  Verizon is moving quickly to deliver full-service 5G mobility.

AT&T is forging ahead at warp speed, too.  In December, their 5G solution touched down in 12 US cities.  In the new year, they’ll add 7 more, from Orlando, FL to Las Vegas, NV.  But AT&T’s approach will employ a mobile hotspot being created by Netgear.  This is the Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, including LTE bands, with 5G grafted on.

October saw the carrier completing its first 5G connection using the Netgear technology.  AT&T’s approach has been adopted by Verizon, which has created its own 5G hotspot, built by Inseego.

Sprint is poised to roll out in nine markets, including NYC, Chicago, Kansas City, Atlanta and Washington, DC in the first half of the new year.  This will be accompanied by LG’s offering of the first 5G-capable smartphone.

Phones Are Coming

Now that 5G looms, phone manufacturers are preparing to launch compatible devices.

5G demands new devices, due to its radio component.  AT&T is hoping to launch its offering by the end of this year.  And you know others are right behind them.  Apple is reportedly hanging back until 2020, biding its time as 5G kinks are worked out.

If you’re contemplating a new phone, perhaps it’s best to wait until you see what’s on offer, as any new phone you buy now won’t be 5G-ready.

OpDecision is an outsourced wireless cost reduction expert.  Contact us.

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