As Verizon Eyes 5G Trials, Samsung Gets in Early to Lend Expertise
Several analysts who talked with eWEEK about Verizon's planned 5G trials said that it's certainly not the first time that mobile carriers and vendors wanted to get an early start on standards creation so they could encourage ideas that would be helpful to them. "What they're doing is not necessarily unique," said Daryl Schoolar, an analyst with Ovum. Mobile carriers do experiments with components, frequency bands, air interfaces and more all the time, he said, so they can work on innovations and improvements for their networks. "I think that ultimately Verizon is testing out the technology to see what works best for them and to have influence in the standards community." William Ho, an analyst with 556 Ventures, agreed. Verizon has been doing experiments with 5G for a while in its labs and is now preparing to take them out into the world in field trials, he said. "I think the ultimate aim is to not wait until 2020," said Ho. "Also, the benefit of something like this is getting some level of customization by offering their guidance" to the standards bodies. "It's standard operating procedure." Roger Entner, principal analyst of Recon Analytics, said that Verizon isn't actually the first mobile carrier to conduct 5G testing. AT&T did the first such tests starting about two years ago but never made a formal announcement about its efforts, said Entner.That head start can be important, said Entner. "The rewards you can get from being at the forefront of technical innovation is one thing Verizon demonstrated with LTE," he said. "They were the first carrier to do 4G, and it basically allowed them to have a two-year lead over every other competitor."
"I don't think that AT&T expected that Verizon would have made a splash with this or they would have made their own press release on it," he said. "What is the key here is that the two largest American carriers are at the very forefront of innovation, along with half a dozen foreign carriers doing something in this space. While we are writing about it, they are doing something with it, even on a very small scale."