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Verizon taps Samsung for commercial 5G launch

by Martha DeGrasse

Samsung will supply Verizon with radio access network equipment as the carrier rolls out 5G fixed wireless to deliver residential broadband services. The two companies are planning their first commercial launch in Sacramento, CA during the second half of 2018.

The RAN portfolio that Samsung will provide to Verizon includes a compact radio base station and virtualized RAN elements, as well as 5G radio frequency planning services. In addition, Samsung will provide the commercial 5G home routers that Verizon customers will need in order to use 5G to get internet service.

Key chipsets that power Samsung's 5G solutions include the company's proprietary designs. Samsung said its solution set includes the industry's first commercial 5G modems based on application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and millimeter wave radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs).

Samsung said it has been testing 5G fixed wireless access with Verizon in California, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Washington D.C. Those tests have shown that a single 5G radio has been able to reach the 19th floor of a multi-dwelling unit. This is significant to mobile operators and real estate developers, who know that renters may choose an apartment based on the number of bars they see on their mobile phones.

Last November, Verizon announced that Sacramento would be its first commercial 5G market. At that time the carrier said it would also launch service in three to five other markets this year.

Samsung is not the only RAN vendor supporting Verizon's commercial 5G launch. Late last year, Ericsson said it will help the carrier roll out 5G in select U.S. markets this year. Ericsson will provide equipment for Verizon's 5G core network as well as 5G RAN equipment and transport services.

3.5 GHz spectrum for 5G?

Mobile network operators in Europe and Asia plan to deploy 5G in the 3.5 GHz spectrum bands, but will U.S. operators have the same opportunity? Cable network operators, fixed wireless providers, neutral host providers and even private companies are all expected to be buyers of CBRS spectrum, depending on how the spectrum auctions play out. 


The latest CBRS market study from iGR Research  provides an explanation of how the CBRS licensing scheme works and how the technical elements of the new band work. This report includes a forecast of the total number of CBRS nodes expected to be deployed in the U.S. through 2022. The forecasted number of nodes is categorized by Outdoor WISP, Outdoor nonWISP, Inside Commercial, and Inside Residential.

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