Cradlepoint published an awesome research report about what is 5G implementation schedules for the major carriers and what technology they will be using.
I will try to summarize the important parts of Cradlepoint’s research report and link to the full report in PDF format below.
What is 5G In 2017?
5G is not like 4G yet and won’t be for a few years.
The 5G trials being touted by network operators are for fixed wireless access only. Thus, 5G initially is only useful for point-to-point, line-of-sight transmission as it can not penetrate buildings and walls yet.
Verizon stopped digging trenches 10 years ago for its Verizon FiOS (Fiber Optic Service), and last year Google discontinued its Google Fiber program. Digging trenches and maintaining wired lines has become cost-prohibitive.
The first use of 5G will be for fixed wireless access. Providers will use millimeter wave, the portion of 5G that works well to pass large amounts of data from one fixed point to another. They also will use 5G as an alternative to fiber connectivity to homes and businesses.
What is 5G Technology?
In order to achieve amazing 5G speeds in the future, the industry will get a lot more complex and use different telecommunications technologies from the past.
5G will encompass many wireless technologies, including 5G New Radio, Gigabit LTE for super-fast speeds; LTE IoT for low power, long battery life, and long-range coverage; Digital TV, C-V2X, or vehicle to anything; and ultra-low latency.
5G will build on the architecture of voice (2G); voice, video, and data (3G); and massive mobile data (4G)—and add massive bandwidth and density, as well as ultra-low latency. 5G also will integrate aspects of WiFi and long-range/low-power networks.
What is 5G Fixed Wireless Access?
The first form of 5G will be implemented with fixed wireless access. Fixed wireless access is having an antenna on the street or nearby building and then beaming the 5G transmission to a nearby antenna on a business or home.
In other words, the first deployments of 5G are meant to replace fiber, cable, and DSL for last-mile connectivity into homes and businesses.
What is 5G Rollout Schedule?
True wireless 5G is still years away but the initial deployments of 5G will arrive within the next year.
By 2019 millimeter wave will be combined with sub-6 GHz spectrum—including all current LTE and WiFi for failover/failback with ubiquitous coverage indoors and out. New sub-6 GHz spectrum will be available as well, including unlicensed 3.5 GHz CBRS and 5 GHz LAA, allowing for increased bandwidth on free spectrum. This important building block will enable network operators to make “true” 5G available.
Here is Cradlepoint’s full research report on 5G: View the Cradlepoint5Greport PDF