Verizon to launch 5G first in Sacramento in late 2018

Verizon today announced plans for its first 5G residential broadband service launch, beginning in Sacramento, California, in the second half of 2018.

The carrier plans to launch wireless 5G residential broadband services in three to five U.S. markets in 2018. Verizon has trialed 5G residential applications in 11 markets in 2017.

Verizon said its initial 5G residential broadband services could reach approximately 30 million households nationwide.

“This is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon president of global networks and chief technology officer, in a statement. “We appreciate our strong ecosystem partners for their passion and technological support in helping us drive forward with 5G industry standards, for both fixed and mobile applications. The targeted initial launches we are announcing today will provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G’s future deployment on the global standards.”

RELATED: Verizon on track to launch 5G broadband offering in 2018: Palmer

Verizon’s John Stratton, executive vice president and president of operations, speaking at the Deutsche Bank 25th Annual Media & Telecom Conference earlier this year, offered some details about what Verizon was looking for in its first 5G markets.

“What I would say is that we would look in the places where we’re going to have those dense deliveries, what is the addressable market in those spaces,” said Stratton, adding that Verizon was measuring markets based on the amount of cost avoidance that could be achieved in the current business or through new revenue creation.

Earlier today at the FierceWireless Next Gen Wireless Networks Summit, Verizon Chief Network Officer Nicola Palmer confirmed Verizon is still on track for a 2018 launch of 5G services and divulged some details about the carrier’s early tests with the network technology.

Verizon’s 5G test markets are working with nonpaying customers and using 28 GHz spectrum and 120+ nodes. The company has been learning how to manage factors including diversity of suppliers, topology, geography, building/construction materials and demographics, on a market-by-market basis.

“What we’ve learned from these trials is simply invaluable,” Palmer said. “We believe this makes up the largest 5G test bed.”