Verizon put out a lot of effort in becoming the first telecom in the world to launch a commercial 5G network on April 3rd. Just hours before the South Korean carriers launched on the 4th, Verizon had date stamped their launch on April the 3rd.
Troubles are abound as is wont to happen with new technology launch. The issues are that signal can only be received in a few parts of the two launch cities of Chicago and Minneapolis. Additionally, it would only operate with a specific phone, the Motorola Z3, working with a custom-add on pack which would enable it to connect to 5G and give it the extra battery power needed to do so. Even with these conditions, the signal is still apparently quite unreliable, and the power consumption is extremely high.
So far then, Verizon’s launch network is quite unusable for almost all users. Things are expected to get better with the launch of new flagship 5G phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G edition. Additionally, Verizon has said that many of these early issues will be solved, along with an upgrade in speed from 450mbps to over 1gbps when the technology is improved by the end of the year and in the near-future.
Right now, telecom providers are far from delivering on the promises of 5G. However, these projects can also be seen as experimental learning experiences allowing companies racing ahead to refine the technological systems underlying these new networks.
There is the issue though that this race will lead to compromises in cybersecurity standards of what will in the future become strategically and infrastructurally important systems.
To learn more about the security and privacy issues coming up with 5G feel free to read our article: https://5g.security/5g-security/5g-cybersecurity-privacy-challenges/
More info here: https://www.verizon.com/5g/
Luka Ivezic is an independent consultant and author exploring geopolitical and socioeconomic implications of emerging technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). To better observe policy discussions and societal attitudes towards early adoptions of emerging technologies, Luka spent last five years living between US, UK, Denmark, Singapore, Japan and Canada. This has given him a unique perspective on how emerging technologies shape different societies, and how different cultures determine technological development.