LAS VEGAS, January 9, 2019 – Here at the Consumer Electronics Show, it’s impossible to avoid being bombarded by the energy – real and imagined – surrounding the 5G wireless standard that is just beginning to be deployed.
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg made the communications company’s efforts to nurture, promote and deploy 5G the sum and substance of his Tuesday afternoon keynote at the show.
And in a series of panel discussions on Wednesday, leaders from the technology, media, education and other industries emphasized just how pumped they are for this next generation of wireless connectivity.
Verizon boasts the first commercial deployment of 5G in October 2018, when it went live with fixed-wireless deployments using a 5G networks in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento.
AT&T followed in December, with what it called the first mobile 5G deployment, to parts of 14 cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville (Fla.), Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh (N.C.), San Antonio and Waco.
The 5G wireless standard includes transmission both at higher-band frequencies, in the so-called “millimeter wavelength” bands above about 25 Gigahertz (GHz), and in the frequencies below 6 GHz. AT&T deployment was in this latter bandwidth.
Vestberg’s keynote showcased 5G as the “fourth industrial revolution.” In it, he introduced what he called the eight “currencies” of 5G that make it — in his view — more than just another technology standard:
His eight currencies are:
- Speed and Throughput: Peak data rates of 10 gigabits per second and mobile data volumes of 10 terabits per second per square kilometer.
- Mobility, Connected Devices and Internet of Things: Mobile devices traveling at up to 500 kilometers per hour can potentially stay connected on a 5G network, and up to one million devices can be supported by 5G in a square kilometer
- Energy Efficiency and Service Deployment: 5G network equipment and devices will consume only 10 percent of the energy consumed by 4G network equipment and devices, and specialized services that will operate on the 5G network will take much less time to implement.
- Latency and Reliability: Five millisecond end-to-end travel time of data from the mobile device to the edge of the 5G network – faster than the blink of an eye, and 5G will be more than 99.999 percent reliable
The very first 5G customer, Houston resident Clayton Harrison receiving Verizon fixed wireless service, made a cameo appearance during Vestberg’s keynote. During the demonstration, he conducted a live speed demonstrating service at 690 Megabits per second (Mbps), which he described as the “low end” of the 600 Mbps to 1.6 Gigabits per second broadband speed that he normally receives.
(Photo of Hans Vestberg at CES2019.)