Check out Verizon's '5G phone'

The marquee part of Verizon's field trial is the van, which represents a "5G mobile device." The van drove about 10 miles an hour around the parking lot of the Verizon building, demonstrating how it could pick up 5G signals sent from a nearby base station.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

A big antenna for a big signal

A bulky antenna is mounted atop the van, which was created in partnership with Samsung. It makes for a conspicuous ride around the parking lot.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

The 5G source

Providing the signal was a small base station located on one of the many balconies of the Verizon building. It fired off a signal with a range of about 1,000 feet.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

Receving the signal at the other end

Besides the van, a second receiver was located across from the base station inside another office in the Verizon building.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

Going through brick walls

The receiver is angled slightly so a brick wall partially obstructs the signal. 5G signals run on very high frequency airwaves, which don't have much range and get distorted easily. Verizon and Samsung said they've been able to get through one wall, but a second or third remains a problem.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

Firing off the 5G signal

On top of the base station was the radio antenna, which can shoot off multiple 5G signals in different directions. It's a trick called beam forming, which helps get the airwaves around obstructions like metal.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

Inside a 5G device

The van is blacked out from the inside. The only thing you can see is the large flat-screen display showing the speed of the connection. It peaks at 3.77 gigabits a second, or 377 times faster than your average LTE connection.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

Superspeedy 5G

The receiver is able to get a consistently fast signal. But wave your hand in front of it, and the signal drops. That's just one of the complications Verizon and its partners will have to plan around.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

Up close and personal with the base station

The base station is hooked up to a fiber-optic cable, which supplies the unit with its superfast Internet connection.

Published:
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

GAMING MUCH?

Enter for your chance to win* a game hardware bundle

One lucky winner will walk away with a gaming monitor, keyboard and mouse. Two lucky runners-up will score a gaming headset.

Hot Products