Verizon and Samsung have been boosted by the news that the latter’s high-band spectrum 5G system has been certified by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), paving the way for a commercial launch later this year.
The Samsung equipment is the first such system to receive FCC approval and covers access units as well as indoor and outdoor routers that will power the fixed wireless access (FWA) service.
Verizon and Samsung have already held 5G trials across seven US cities in 2018 and the operator will launch 5G FWA in Sacramento in the second half of this year.
Samsung’s system uses Verizon’s proprietary 5G Technology Forum (5GTF) standard, according to Mobile World Live, but this can be upgraded either via software or hardware to industry-wide 3GPP standards.
Verizon’s FWA service will use the 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) band and will compete with traditional home broadband services. The operator plans to launch a mobile 5G network as early as six months later, once the first 5G smartphones are made available.
Rival AT&T also has 5G plans in the works, while T-Mobile and Sprint claim their proposed merger will allow for the creation of a truly national 5G network because of their low-level spectrum assets with long-range.
The US is keen to retain the leadership position it established in 4G as the industry moves onto 5G, and is competing in a global race with China, Japan and South Korea.
For Samsung 5G is a chance to transform its network equipment division into a major player that can compete with Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia.
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