Verizon moved a step closer to meeting its target date to begin offering fixed 5G wireless service with the news late last week that Samsung’s indoor fixed 5G router has received FCC certification. While not formally confirmed by Verizon, a Samsung spokesperson confirmed that the just approved equipment will be used in Sacramento, Verizon’s first announced fixed 5G market.

The carrier made plans to deploy 5G initially in a fixed configuration with the expectation that fixed 5G equipment would be ready before mobile 5G equipment would be. Verizon has said it sees a potential target market of 30 million households for fixed 5G service, which has supported speeds as high as a gigabit per second in field trials in several different markets using millimeter wave spectrum. The company expects to achieve market share in the range of 20-30% in fixed 5G markets.

Verizon Fixed 5G
Samsung previously received FCC authorization for the fixed 5G access units that work with fixed 5G routers to support service.  According to the company spokesperson, the latest FCC authorization gives Samsung the distinction of offering the first 5G millimeter-wave end-to-end solution to secure government regulatory approval.

Samsung Fixed 5G CPE (Source: Samsung)

“The access unit is outdoor network equipment for delivering the 5G signal across a large area,” explained the Samsung spokesperson in an email to Telecompetitor. “The indoor 5G home router is a small consumer device that receives and transmits the 5G signal to provide ultra-high-speed broadband wireless service (an indoor or outdoor home router is used, based on building layout and construction).”

AT&T also has been field testing fixed 5G wireless and has achieved results similar to what Verizon has seen.

Recently, however, AT&T has focused more on mobile 5G plans. The company said it will be first to launch mobile 5G, which will occur in 2018, although 5G phones will not be available at the initial launch.

Ronan Dunne — executive vice president and group president of Verizon Wireless — has said that 5G phones will not be available until 2019 and that Verizon could be the first to launch true mobile 5G.

“From a timing point of view, there’s no reason our position will be different” from competitors, he said. “Because of our assets, we could be first.”

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