Verizon yesterday announced the rollout of Verizon 5G Home internet service. Verizon claims in its press release that it is the first company to introduce 5G commercially in the United States with service to be provided in parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.
Given the lack of uniform industry standards, being first to provide 5G service means moving ahead with the service based on its own proprietary 5G standards. According to Hans Vestberg, Verizon’s chief executive officer, “To be first, we encouraged others in the ecosystem to move more quickly at every step. We appreciate the partnership of network equipment makers, device manufacturers, software developers and chip makers in reaching this critical milestone. The entire wireless industry gets to celebrate.”
Verizon will start taking consumer orders for the service on 13 September 2018 with the service taking effect on 1 October 2018.
SDx Central, a technology content provider and research firm, estimates that the first phase of 5G standards will probably not materialize until late 2018 when industry can base concrete standards on high profile cases. However, Verizon sees no concerns with moving forward with its own proprietary standards. Rather, it sees itself as a leader on moving the industry further along the journey to rolling out 5G. According to company spokesman John O’Malley:
“The 3GTF standard we developed actually accelerated the adoption of the international standard last December — two years earlier than most people thought it would happen. And now, device, infrastructure and other technology leaders are developing products that will run on that standard. And when those products and technologies are available, we’ll evolve our offerings as well. The entire industry is working together on this.”
Although Verizon did not mention the impact of its 5G rollout on global trade, broadband communications has been described as an important platform for international commerce, particularly for small and medium enterprises.
In 2013, the World Economic Forum determined that 95% of businesses located in countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has an online presence. The internet in general and social media in particular allowed these businesses to market products globally and reach customers outside of their regions.
Joshua Meltzer of the Brookings Institution in a paper addressing the internet as a platform for international trade said the following:
“Significantly, the Internet is creating new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and for businesses in developing countries to engage in international trade and become part of the global economy. By providing opportunities to access business inputs such as cheaper telecommunications, strategic information on overseas markets, legal and consulting services, and cloud computing, SMEs and developing country firms are now more than ever able to become globally competitive. With a website, these firms can now engage internationally, reaching customers and communicating with suppliers all across the world.”
Could we see further integration of the aforementioned cities into global trade as a result of this rollout?