Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) To Begin Testing 5G Wireless Technology In Early 2017

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) To Begin Testing 5G Wireless Technology In Early 2017

The first large-scale testing of the 5G network technology by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) will begin by the end of the first quarter of 2017. The trials of the high-speed wireless service will mainly be conducted in small towns. This was announced by Lowell McAdam, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Users will get the service for free during the testing phase.

“We won’t be charging for the service, but we will be learning from it and figuring out the distance between the transmitter and the receiver in a 5G environment,” said Verizon’s CEO at a New York investor conference.

Internet and TV services

With the 5G network, it will be possible to offer a high-speed service for both internet and TV thereby eliminating the need for fiber optic lines. Speeds on a 5G network can be 100 times faster than what the 4G network standard currently offers. Verizon is looking for growth opportunities as prospects in the wireless and the wired phone service indicates a flattening curve. The upcoming 5G standard provides a basis for a new internet and cable service.

Fios, a unit of Verizon that provides internet and TV services stopped further expansion plans a couple of years ago after the laying of fiber optic cables to consumers proved too expensive. The new 5G technology thus offers an opportunity for a resuscitation of this line of business as it is much cheaper. All a user requires is a router to receive internet and TV service signals from a cell tower.

Last mile micro cell towers

Other than the cell towers, microcells could be set using new technology that would allow the installation of a 5G transmitter in other already-existing infrastructure such as street lights. Such microcells would be able to transmit signals to homes and offices that are 200 to 1000 feet away.

Besides the planned video service via 5G, Verizon has also ventured into online advertising. It has already acquired AOL and is currently in talks to acquire Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) too.

In Tuesday’s trading, Verizon Communications Inc rose 1.23% to close the day at $50.36.