SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento residents will be Verizon’s potential 5G customers this year when the company launches residential broadband service based on its own version of 5G. Verizon will offer 5G customer premise equipment that it says will deliver wireless internet and video at speeds comparable to fiber speeds, according to rcrwireless.com.
California’s capital last summer fast-tracked Verizon’s request for access to city utility poles for small cells and city conduit for fiber backhaul—they got access to 101 utility poles and several miles of conduit. In return, Verizon is placing Wi-Fi hotspots in 27 Sacramento parks.
XO Communications previously owned the millimeter-wave spectrum licenses in Sacramento now owned by Verizon. The company picked a handful of the cities formerly served by XO to be 5G trial cities, but Sacramento is the only city named so far, according to the same article.
City officials gave up potential lease payments for pole space in exchange for the high-speed wireless service Verizon is offering, and the city’s CIO believes the deal with Verizon will bring more technology startups to Sacramento. The city retained the right to lease space on its utility poles to other carriers in the future.
At some point in the future Sacramento and other Verizon 5G trial cities will need to upgrade in order to use the same 5G equipment used elsewhere in the company’s network. The gear deployed in Sacramento will use 5G radio heads and CPEs made by Samsung, using Verizon’s proprietary 5G standard. Verizon said it expects the transition to standards-compliant 5G will only require a software or firmware upgrade to the radios and the customer premise equipment.