Verizon Business has in a few months brought indoor 5G cell sites from the test phase to commercial rollout. Verizon indoor 5G is now commercially available and will help expand the company’s 5G Ultra Wideband footprint, the company said.
Verizon uses the brand name 5G Ultra Wideband for 5G service deployed in the millimeter wave band. The technology is startlingly fast because it operates at very high frequency. This, however, makes it sensitive to obstructions such as walls. Placing cell sites within structures should help overcome that issue.
The indoor cell site was developed with Corning. It will first be used in Verizon’s retail stores and soon will be deployed at 10 locations in the U.S. by WeWork, a company that provides flexible space solutions to its clients.
The Corning indoor cell site platform features a fully integrated baseband unit, radios and antennas in a package designed aesthetically for indoor use. Verizon expects indoor 5G to appeal to hospitals, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, schools, ports, commercial office space, and retail stores.
“We believe our customers deserve the most advanced 5G technology to provide a genuinely differentiated and superior service,” Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin, CEO said in a press release. “We have quickly moved from proof of concept to commercial availability and now scalability for our enterprise customers. The unprecedented performance of 5G Ultra Wideband is not just an investment for growth, it is a critical step in our customers’ digital transformation.”
Verizon indoor 5G also sets the stage for private 5G, which will combine the indoor cell site and Ultra Wideband with a private network core and Mobile Edge Compute (MEC), which provides computing and cloud resources located near the network edge to minimize latency.
Verizon says that the private networks eliminate the need for data to share resources with the macro network and to traverse multiple routers spread over broad geographies. A goal is to enable creation of “specific capabilities customized to the private network owner.” That may be a reference to network slicing, though the press release doesn’t use the term.
Verizon announced private 5G plans in September. At that point, it said that it would work with Samsung as well as Corning.