This week marked another major milestone for Verizon, and another major step towards the commercial launch of the 5G network. In a statement, the wireless networking company announced that it had successfully completed the world’s first 5G data transmission on a smartphone. Using a 5G moto mod for the Motorola moto z3 smartphone, Verizon completed the transition on a 5G test network in Providence, Rhode Island.
The news is major for a couple of reasons, one being the fact that the transmission worked, of course. But what’s perhaps most exciting about this is that Verizon conducted the test on a phone that is already commercially available in the moto z3. Back in the summer, Motorola launched the 5G moto mod for Verizon’s network, making the phone one of the first to be upgradable to the forthcoming 5G network. 5G has been this fluffy topic that’s been discussed, and it has been tested. But this test with the z3 feels like the first time 5G is a tangible reality. The network worked, and it worked on a product that consumers already have their hands on.
“This test is also one step closer to getting upgraded speed and connectivity that will affect all aspects of our daily lives,” Shakil Barkat, vice president, Global Product Development at Motorola, said in Verizon’s statement. “5G will be a transformational leap in wireless, and we are excited to be a part of it.”
According to Verizon, the test included a number of different data transmission tasks, things like browsing the internet and placing a video call. The transmissions were completed over the company’s 28 GHz spectrum and using Samsung 5G New Radio solutions. The 5G moto mod is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem, along with the QTM052 mmWave antenna modules.
“In the past two years, we have consistently led the world in 5G, including launching the world’s first commercial 5G service last month. This successful test, using an actual smartphone, widens our lead,” Bill Stone, vice president, Technology Development and Planning for Verizon, said in the statement. “We will be the first to offer a 5G upgradeable smartphone on our network in 2019.”
What We’re Reading
- Read the damning NYT report on how Facebook has worked to fight through scandal after scandal over the past several years. (New York Times)
- Amazon wants to help consumers recycle their old electronics in a "second chance" program. (Amazon)
- Those Roku TV voice-activated wireless speakers launch on Friday. (The Verge)