Verizon Names Indianapolis Its Final 5G Pilot City




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Mayor Joe Hogsett welcomed the increased connectivity for residents, but just where it will occur hasn’t been made public.

Indianapolis will be the fourth and final pilot city to receive Verizon’s fifth-generation wireless, or 5G, residential service in the second half of 2018, the telecom giant announced Wednesday.

Circle City joins Sacramento and Los Angeles in California and, more recently, Houston in partnering with the company, whose incoming CEO Hans Vestberg recently said was two years ahead of the global 5G standard, which when implemented is expected to achieve speeds about 20 times faster than current wireless.

Home internet service will come this year and then mobile service in 2019—along with the first 5G-enabled devices.

“Indianapolis is one of our nation’s leading tech and business hubs, making our community a natural location to launch innovative new technology,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett in a statement. “I applaud today’s announcement by Verizon, naming our city one of the first 5G cities in the nation and look forward to the increased connectivity for our residents.”

Hogsett cited previous Verizon investments in city infrastructure and venues like Lucas Oil Stadium as a precursor to the partnership, similar to Houston, which in 2017 received upgrades from the company ahead of Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium and aid after Hurricane Harvey.

Indianapolis also tested 5G during the Indianapolis 500 in May 2017, said Tami Erwin, executive vice president of wireless operations at Verizon, in the announcement.

After his city was announced in July, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner emphasized the size of Verizon’s investment in his city, though the exact amount remains confidential, saying the company would expand service to select underserved neighborhoods. There was no mention of where increased connectivity might occur in Hogsett’s statement, and neither he nor Verizon immediately responded to requests for comment prior to publication.

The cost of 5G service won’t be publicized until a commercial offering is made, Vestberg said recently, but YouTube TV and Apple TV 4K were announced as part of Verizon’s initial offering Wednesday.

The company plans to hold an employee town hall at one of its stores in Indianapolis on Thursday to thank local government and business leaders for their support, which will be live-streamed on Facebook.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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