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Verizon to launch residential 5G service next year

Sacramento, California, will be the first city to get the network, which promises to be up to 100 times faster than existing cellular connections.

Verizon plans to deploy 5G wireless networks in five markets by the end of 2018.

Verizon plans to deploy 5G wireless networks in five markets by the end of 2018.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Verizon said Wednesday that it plans to launch wireless 5G service in up to five US cities by the end of next year.

Sacramento, California, is likely to be the first city to get access to the 5G network, which promises to be 10 to 100 times faster than the company's speediest existing cellular connections. That service should begin in the second half of the year, Verizon said in a statement, adding that it will reveal the other markets at a later date.

"Verizon estimates the market opportunity for initial 5G residential broadband services to be approximately 30 million households nationwide," the company said.

5G networks were previously expected to arrive in 2019. The conventional wisdom is that the early examples will be for what are known as "fixed wireless" connections, bringing fast broadband to your house without the need to dig a trench for a fiber-optic cable.

The announcement comes after Verizon, one of many companies trumpeting its work in 5G, completed trials of the technology in 11 US markets earlier this year. Verizon said the launch was made possible by its confidence in new technology powered by millimeter-wave spectrum -- very high frequencies that can carry large amounts of data and transfer signals with minimal delay.

Verizon isn't the only company racing toward 5G. AT&T has already tested 5G as a broadband replacement in an Intel office in Austin, Texas, and has tested its DirecTV Now video service over 5G in that city as well.

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