Verizon chooses Los Angeles as second city for 5G connectivity

Los Angeles is one of the four US cities. which is expected to receive Verizon's 5G service by the end of the year.

Verizon chooses Los Angeles as second city for 5G connectivity

Los Angeles will be one of the four cities in the United States. They will receive Verizon's 5G service later this year, the company's chief communications officer, Lowell McAdam, told CNBC on Tuesday .

Over the past few years, Verizon has promoted its next-generation wireless service, saying it will be 10 to 100 times faster than the company's existing cellular network. But the operator has been cautious about the details. By the end of last year, he had named Sacramento, California , as the first city that would get 5G. And he promised to launch the service in three to five cities by the end of 2018.

On Tuesday, McAdam gave a little more detail about what's coming, naming Los Angeles the second of four cities to receive 5G. The company plans to start deploying its fixed 5G broadband service in the fourth quarter of 2018 and through early 2019. McAdam promised to announce the names of the other two cities later this year.

"I think we're a lot closer to what people think," said McAdam. "We're closing four this year," McAdam said of the cities where Verizon's 5G network will arrive.

Verizon will cover nearly 500 square miles with 1,000 small cell radios in Los Angeles. McAdam spoke about the importance of working with city governments to deploy new services. He said that Los Angeles and Sacramento have worked with Verizon to move quickly in installing equipment on utility poles.

Los Angeles hopes to attract businesses and startups by promoting its status as one of the first cities to get 5G wireless.

"We want people to know that this is a city where innovation is incubated," said Jeanne Holm, senior technology advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "We want to have the infrastructure in place to ensure that new services and ideas can be tested."

Holm said there are many applications for the 5G network, such as bringing broadband to various sectors of the city that have not been served in the past. Although applications such as driverless cars may sound exciting, he said the city is looking for less attractive uses, such as simply improving traffic flow to promote public safety.

"Having constant connectivity through 5G to tune traffic lights and collect information about pedestrians and bicycles on the streets can help us improve public safety," he said.

He explained that since 1984, when it hosted the Olympic Games, Los Angeles has had an automatic traffic system that continues to grow and improve. But 5G will allow the city to take this automation to a new level with data from tiny sensors throughout the city. That will help with things like the creation of bicycle lanes to reduce the incidence of traffic accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles. Holm said that Los Angeles has had limited access to data in real time, but that the 5G network with its fast response times should improve that.



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