Verizon is turning up the heat on AT&T by announcing that it plans to launch residential 5G wireless broadband services in up to five cities in the first half of 2018, starting with Sacramento, California. The two companies are fierce competitors in the broadband market, and AT&T has previously announced that it hopes to deploy 5G services to customers by the end of 2018.
5G services offer high speed wireless broadband at hundreds of megabits per second. More importantly, these services offer very low latency, unlike other wireless services such as satellite-based broadband. This makes 5G broadband ideally suited to real-time applications, such as internet-based gaming or multi-user virtual reality.
Verizon estimates that the market for 5G broadband could be as big as 30 million households, but as yet it has not announced pricing for the service, or even given an indication of whether it will be priced at a level similar to fixed-line broadband services.
Verizon has already deployed 5G trial networks in 11 cities around the U.S. including Sacramento, and the company has also trailed 5G technology at the Indianapolis 500 race in May, attaining network speeds of more than 6 Gbps.
AT&T launched its 5G Evolution wireless broadband service in April 2017, but despite the name this only uses 4G wireless technology.