Verizon will launch Fifth Generation wireless residential broadband services in three to five U.S. markets in 2018, becoming the first company to do so.

5G service will use radio signals, rather than copper or fiber cables, to provide unprecedented wireless speeds for Internet access, it said today.“As 5G continues to evolve, customers will benefit from a wide array of services – including broadband, mobile and the Internet of Things and the necessary bandwidth and low latency for 3D and virtual reality applications.

The launch is planned for Sacramento, Calif., in the second half of 2018.

It conducted 5G residential applications in 11 markets in 2017. It said the launch is based on customer experience and on Verizon’s confidence in new technology powered by millimeter-wave spectrum.

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

The launch will not have a material impact on Verizon’s consolidated capital expenditures in 2018, the company said. It expects its full-year 2018 capital spending program to be consistent with the past several years.

“This is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon president of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer.

“We appreciate our strong ecosystem partners for their passion and technological support in helping us drive forward with 5G industry standards, for both fixed and mobile applications. The targeted initial launches we are announcing today will provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G’s future deployment on the global standards.

White House Supports 5G

The White House in a National Security Strategy report released yesterday, said,  “We will improve America’s digital infrastructure by deploying a secure 5G Internet capability nationwide.” Other than natural gas, 5G wireless service was the only area of technology to get a specific calling out for infrastructure.

It described 5G a set of standards and technologies that interoperate in the millimeter wave spectrum to meet the needs of users today. That includes better performance around latency and bandwidth, as well as support for low-power, many-device contexts due to the rise of Internet of Things.

The standards have been discussed and researched for years, and TechCrunch has talked about its promise before in 2015 and how that promise seems ever more distant just earlier this year. There is hope though that the technology will soon see the light of day since Verizon just announced that it will launch its first U.S. service of the technology next year in Sacramento and up to five other cities.

Now, a line in a report in Silicon Valley would be useless — people want to see actual products, not talk of products, said NSS. The reports are designed to send a signal throughout the government on how a particular administration sees policy issues. As such, they are important for setting the guidelines for future actions of the federal government. By attaching wireless connectivity into national security, the Trump administration is putting its heaviest hand behind such a recommendation.

Gov. Brown Vetoed Cell Tower Bill

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown, on Sept. 10, after about a month’s wait, vetoed Senate Bill 649 that would have removed local control of cellphone tower creation needed for implementation of 4G and 5G technology.

It would have created a state mandated system of cell towers every couple of hundred feet apart in California.

Opposing it were 300 cities, 47 counties and more than 100 community, planning, health, environment and justice organizations.

EMF Safety Network and Ecological Options Network opposed SB 649 since the bill was introduced in March because it said cell towers emit harmful radiation. The bill would have allowed unlimited refrigerator-size cell equipment on utility poles, streetlights, sidewalks, in parks, on schools and public buildings with no safety oversight.

Sandi Maurer, Director of EMF Safety Network said, “We mailed Governor Brown a couple thousand postcards depicting SB 649 as a slobbering warty monster wielding a zapping cell tower and asked him to veto SB 649. We are thrilled and relieved Governor Brown vetoed this bill.”

Mary Beth Brangan co-director of EON said, “Now we need to prepare ourselves for the next state and federal telecom push, where they will try again with bills to overtake local authority and disregard public health.”

Gov. Brown said local communities should have a say in placement of any such towers.