Verizon plans 5G trial service in 11 cities this year

Lab tests of pre-standard 5G wireless with multi-gigabit speeds are evolving into trial services that users can actually enjoy in the real world — though not necessarily while walking around with a smartphone.

Verizon said Wednesday it will launch pre-commercial 5G service in 11 markets around the U.S. by the middle of this year, joining rival AT&T in aggressively deploying the future technology.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, carriers are expected to announce more upcoming 5G trials.

The Verizon trial, planned for select users in cities including Atlanta, Denver, Miami, and Seattle, will use fixed wireless equipment for home broadband instead of mobile networks for roving devices. But it’s an early use of millimeter-wave frequencies that carriers say they will need for future high-speed mobile broadband.

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