Verizon and Comsol said the trials, which will take place in Johannesburg will be operational in Q3 2018

New York-based Verizon Communications will partner with South African mobile operator Comsol and South Korea’s Samsung to launch fixed wireless trials in South Africa, initially using Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum standard.

“In early trials in the U.S, Verizon has shown the potential of the 28GHz millimeter spectrum, which has been identified for 5G services by the country’s Federal Communications Commission,” said Comsol CEO Iain Stevenson.

“With our access to the lion’s share of the 28 Ghz band in South Africa, we’re excited to work together and accelerate the development of the 5G ecosystem. Verizon and Samsung’s involvement is a fantastic endorsement of our capabilities in the local market,” he added.

Under the partnership, Samsung will provide a wide range of hardware, from the base station technology to the evolved packet core and customer premise equipment.

The 5G network trial is scheduled to be operational by the third quarter of 2018, Stevenson said. It will take place in South Africa’s capital Johannesburg and will consist of two multi-sector base stations connected to fiber-optic backhaul.

Multiple demonstration points will be established where people will be able to experience 5G, which will deliver gigabit-class Internet access. Though the trial network will be non-commercial, customers will be connected to it and will use it in real-world environments, Stevenson said.

The point-to-multipoint network will utilize Comsol’s spectrum assignment in the 28 GHz band and Verizon’s pre-5G, proprietary 5GTF standard, which will ultimately be transitioned to the 5G New Radio (5GNR) standard.

Earlier this week, Verizon announced plans to launch 5G in Los Angeles in the last quarter of 2018, making L.A. its second announced market for 5G in 2018. The mobile operator had previously announced its intent to bring 5G to Sacramento, California, this year and has said that it will commercialize 5G in three to five markets in the second half of this year.

While the initial slate of Verizon 5G fixed wireless deployments will be based on the carrier’s Technical Forum standard, those sites will quickly be upgraded to the non-standalone 5G New Radio specification approved last year by 3GPP, Verizon Chief Network Officer Nicola Palmer told RCR Wireless News.

Verizon tested 5G fixed wireless access in 11 U.S. markets, which the company said included “several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations.”

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