Verizon appears to be making good on its promises of building the first 5G cellular network in the United States. Today, the carrier announced it will roll out 5G connectivity to pilot customers in 11 US markets by midyear.
According to Verizon and its industry partners in the 5G Technology Forum (5GTF) 5G broadband systems are expected to deliver internet connectivity speeds at a cost-competitive level previously only available via fiber connections.
Verizon has said its newly built network has been tested at the prototype level and is now ready for widespread testing in various real-world metropolitan and suburban environments. It confirmed upcoming 5G test markets in Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Barnardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington DC.
Verizon's announcement comes shortly after AT&T described its plans for "5G evolution" testing in Austin and Indianapolis.
In either case, this 5G rollout is precommercial, meaning it won't be something that consumers can opt into until the network goes live. Additionally, speed testing requires 5G-compatible devices, which have yet to come to the market. But according to Verizon, its 5GTF partners (Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung) are close to commercializing the necessary infrastructure and chipsets necessary to bring 5G compatibility to consumers.