As if anyone should be surprised, the nation’s largest carrier appears to be ahead of its competitors when it comes to developing a next-generation network. Verizon completed the world’s first 5G data transmission on a smartphone.
Verizon performed the test in Providence, Rhode Island. It’s unclear why that location was selected, but maybe the city’s mid-sized population felt attractive. The test was done in a highly-populated area that’s not as congested as other cities like New York City or Los Angeles. Regardless, everything went smoothly in the capital of the nation’s smallest state.
It didn’t take a specialized, prototype-level device to complete the 5G data transmission. Motorola’s Moto Z3 earned the honor for this milestone. The high-end phone was able to connect to a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio network. During the test, the Moto Z3 could browse the web and place a video call.
The Moto Z3 is already available, but it’ll take some time before Verizon’s customers can use it on a 5G network. Big Red will go live with 5G in 2019, and it’ll need to sell a custom 5G-enabled modem that attaches to Motorola’s product.
Even in 2019, Verizon and the major U.S. carriers are unlikely to offer 5G in a significant capacity. It won’t be until 2020 that we see 5G networks that are nationwide and reliable.