Verizon Wireless store (interior 001)

Verizon Wireless, the leading U.S. wireless operator, will be kicking off field trials of a fifth-generation network which promises to bring some rather insane download speeds.

With these trials, the big red carrier should become the world’s first carrier to seriously move into 5G.

As reported by CNET, field trials on 5G wireless technology are set to kick off within the next 12 months, with Verizon’s chief information and technology architect Roger Gurnani confirming that “some level of commercial deployment” should begin in 2017.

Compared to 4G, 5G wireless will benefit users with much faster download speeds, better power efficiency and more responsive performance allowing for applications like remote surgery over the cellular network.

According to Verizon’s internal tests, its 5G network sports a connection speed that is 30 to 50 times faster than the carrier’s current 4G network. It’s even faster than Google’s Fiber network.

With 5G, which requires “big bands of spectrum,” a copy of the movie “The Guardians of the Galaxy” would download to a mobile device in just fifteen seconds instead of six minutes via 4G. These kinds of speeds would allow for real-time streaming of movies and television shows in 4K resolution over Verizon’s cellular network.

“The future is going to bring more stuff that I can’t really describe,” Gurnani said. ”We can’t possibly envision the full range of disruptive products and services. But we have some possibilities.”

5G technology is also supposed to be more power-efficient, “so devices are expected to last ten times as long,” according to CNET. Of course, commercial deployment of 5G networks is still a few years away. And if history is an indication, Apple won’t release a 5G-capable iPhone until all of the kinks of this technology have been worked out and 5G networks have been deployed around the world.

For what it’s worth, South Korea’s carriers should deploy a trial 5G network in in time for the 2015 Winter Olympics, Japan is working to have a 5G network running in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics and the Chinese government has also pushed aggressively for commercial deployment of 5G networks.

“At this time, our focus is on the technology field trials and accelerating the technology,” said Gurnani.

Source: CNET