Verizon’s 5G plans begin to sharpen

Samsung said its indoor 5G home router is destined for Verizon's fixed 5G service. (Samsung)

Verizon announced late last year that it would turn on fixed 5G services in 3-5 cities, including Sacramento, sometime in the second half of 2018. Now, the carrier’s deployment plans are getting slightly clearer.

Specifically, Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam told The Seattle Times that Verizon’s mobile 5G service will launch roughly six months after the carrier turns on its fixed 5G service. Those comments are notable because Verizon hasn’t offered too much detail about how it might roll out mobile 5G—although Verizon’s CFO said last year the carrier wouldn’t launch mobile 5G services in 2018.

Verizon’s fixed 5G services are intended to compete with wired internet services by blasting a 5G connection from a nearby cell site to receivers either outside or inside users’ homes or offices. Mobile 5G, on the other hand, is designed for portable devices like smartphones and tablets.

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RELATEDEditor’s Corner—How the city of Sacramento got to 5G, and what it means for the rest of the U.S.

Separately, Samsung acknowledged that the FCC this week certified the company’s indoor 5G home router, following a VentureBeat report about the action. Samsung confirmed the router is designed for Verizon's 28 GHz fixed wireless deployment.

Samsung explained that the FCC has now approved both its outdoor and indoor routers. For its indoor router, the company described the product as “a small consumer device that receives and transmits the 5G signal to provide ultra-high speed broadband wireless service (an indoor or outdoor home router is used, based on building layout and construction). Together, these components can enable broadband service up to 18x greater than the current average U.S. broadband.”

RELATEDEditor’s Corner—What we know, and what we don’t know, about 5G in the U.S.

Verizon is in a race alongside AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint to launch 5G services. AT&T has said it will launch mobile 5G services in roughly a dozen markets this year, while T-Mobile and Sprint have pegged their mobile 5G launches sometime next year.

Article updated May 4 with details from Samsung.