Verizon's McAdam lobbies for LTE-U, higher spectrum bands for 5G

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam paid a visit to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's office last week where he urged the commission to act quickly to make spectrum bands above 24 GHz available for mobile broadband. He also made a point to describe how LTE-U will allow wireless companies to provide customers with a better broadband experience, according to a Verizon ex parte filing with the FCC.

Specifically, McAdam, along with Verizon EVP Craig Silliman and SVP Kathleen Grillo, met with Wheeler, his Chief of Staff Ruth Milkman and FCC General Counsel Jonathan Sallet. The meeting on Wednesday reinforces Verizon's interest not only in using LTE-U, which has been the subject of controversy this year, but also its interest in higher band spectrum.

McAdam reiterated Verizon's commitment to be the first U.S. company to roll out 5G technology and described Verizon's work with its 5G Technology Forum partners, including its plans to field test 5G in early 2016.

"Verizon agrees with the Commission's primary proposal to grant flexible use rights to existing terrestrial licensees in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands and to auction the FCC held licenses," the filing states.

Verizon was the first U.S. operator to announce its intent to conduct trials of 5G technology, while its biggest rival, AT&T (NYSE: T), has indicated it's too early to be talking about technology plans for a standard that has yet to be written. Verizon is working with Alcatel-Lucent Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Cisco, Intel, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Samsung to test 5G in the company's innovation centers in Waltham, Mass., and San Francisco.

At the Business Insider Ignition conference earlier this month, McAdam said the carrier expects to be able to offer 5G wireless speeds up to 1 Gbps and a commercial test of the technology could happen as early as next month at the carrier's Basking Ridge, N.J., headquarters. McAdam boasted that the carrier's forthcoming 5G network would support speeds 200 times faster than the 5 Mbps generally available today on Verizon's LTE network.

Verizon executives also have met with operators in Japan and South Korea to discuss network technologies, including 5G, which isn't surprising given Asian operators are expected to use upcoming Olympics events to showcase their network technology advancements.

For more:
- see this FCC filing

Related articles:
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Verizon gains 5G insights from operators in Japan, Korea
FCC proposes rules for 4 different spectrum bands above 24 GHz for 5G networks
Verizon to test 5G in 2016