Verizon Updates its “5G” Plans; Announces ThingSpace Platform for IoT Developers

Verizon “5G”  (totally proprietary for both fixed and mobile access):

Verizon will launch its mobile “5G” service roughly six months after the introduction of its fixed “5G” offering, which the telecom has set for several cities later this year, CEO Lowell McAdam told the Seattle Times.  Separately, Verizon named Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred public cloud provider and will transfer its production databases and business apps to AWS.

Verizon’s fixed “5G” services are intended to compete with broadband wired internet services by sending high frequency signals from a nearby cell site to receivers either outside or inside users’ homes or offices.  Fiber optics is used for backhaul from the cell site to the ISP’s point of presence.

Verizon has been partnering with Samsung and others to test “5G” in homes, or “fixed 5G,” in several U.S. cities. It plans to launch the service to customers in four cities, including Sacramento and Los Angeles California, before the end of this year.

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NOTE:  Again, this is not really 5G but instead is Verizon’s proprietary spec for broadband fixed wireless which is NOT being considered by ITU-R for IMT2020.  The specification was conducted within Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum (V5GTF), a group that includes Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung. V5GTF will be used for Verizon’s 28GHz and 39GHz fixed wireless access trials and deployments.

From the ITU-T Focus Group report on IMT 2020 Deliverables:

The use cases expected in IMT-2020 are categorized into three representative services: enhanced mobile  broadband service, ultra-reliable and low-latency communications, and massive machine type  communications. The other services are placed in-between those three service characteristics.

  • Enhanced mobile broadband services are to allow users to experience high-speed and high-quality multimedia services, e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality, 4K/8K Ultra-High Definition video, and even hologram services, at any time and any place.
  • Ultra-reliable and low-latency communications are to enable delay sensitive and mission critical services such as tactile Internet which requires less than a millisecond end-to-end delay, remote control of medical and industrial robots, and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications.
  • The massive machine type communications is to support connections and communications among massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

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“We bought 36 million miles of fiber so we can have big pipes feeding the cells. We will have hundreds of megahertz of bandwidth to deliver the whole suite of services of 5G,” McAdam said.

“We’ll have 1,000 cell sites up and operating on the global standard,” McAdam said on CNBC cable network.

Separately, Samsung acknowledged that the FCC certified the company’s indoor 5G home router (for fixed broadband access), following a VentureBeat report about the action. Samsung confirmed the router is designed for Verizon’s 28 GHz fixed wireless deployment.

For comparison, AT&T said in February that Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, Tex. would be the first of 12 cities to receive its “5G” mobile service, while Sprint is bringing its 5G services to Kansas City, Phoenix and New York City (the millennium capital of the world).

Mobile 5G is designed for portable devices like smartphones,  tablets, and virtual reality/game players.  That market — giving customers access to ultrafast speeds even on the go — is where T-Mobile has been investing its resources. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has criticized Verizon and other competitors in the past for focusing on the fixed service rather than mobile.

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ThingSpace Platform for IoT Developers:

On the eve of IoT World in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon has launched ThingSpace Ready for IoT developers looking to accelerate the creation, test time and speed to bring innovative IoT ideas and ultimately, products to market.  ThingSpace Ready is a new program that is part of Verizon’s successful ThingSpace platform, which has more than 20 million connected devices on the platform. Designed to simplify the IoT on-ramp for businesses and OEMs, ThingSpace Ready will provide the most cost-effective and time-efficient design and implementation experience possible – all while connected to Verizon’s award-winning network. The program provides developers more affordable cellular modules and new, lower priced IoT SIM and hardware design house partnerships.

ThingSpace Ready builds on Verizon’s leading platform and connectivity services for IoT – in 2017 Verizon was first to market with its nationwide commercial 4G LTE CATM1 network spanning 2.57 million square miles, the first nationwide low-power, wide-area LTE network designed specifically for IoT. As of April 2018, ThingSpace supports connectivity in over 200 countries & territories via global agreements. Now, through carefully curated module, SIM, and design house partnerships, a ThingSpace SDK integrated on modules and incentives when devices are activated on Verizon’s leading network, device development has never been simpler.

“We’ve been a leader in the industry around IoT platform and connectivity services with the successful launch of ThingSpace in 2015, and the first nationwide CATM1 network for IoT in 2017.  Now, we’re building on those tools with key partnerships and services to help make it easier and more affordable than ever to develop and launch cellular-enabled IoT solutions in the marketplace” said Steve Szabo, head of global IoT products and solutions at Verizon.  “We’ve created a one-stop-shop for IoT and are providing access like never before,” he added.

This new program is the latest advancement in Verizon’s growing IoT toolkit.  Verizon’s ThingSpace press release is here.

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