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Verizon’s new indoor wireless technology replaces Wi-Fi with private 5G

The news: At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, Verizon announced that it will build a private 5G network for BlackRock to kick off business 5G solutions as a new opportunity for telecom providers.

Here’s how it works: Verizon’s On Site Wideband 5G is a secure, non-standalone private network. Benefits over traditional Wi-Fi connections include enhanced security, lower latency, and high-bandwidth, per Bloomberg.

“5G Ultra Wideband is the platform for 21st-century business and should be a prerequisite for any workplace that aims to be state of the art and future ready,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business.

  • Verizon, which has tested similar 5G deployments in 25 NFL stadiums, sees 5G wireless technology as a replacement for business Wi-Fi, giving customers improved connectivity for virtual reality and edge computing applications.
  • BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, plans to occupy 15 floors in a building in New York City and is the first commercial office to adopt Verizon’s solution.
  • Enterprise 5G networks are a big opportunity that could reach $5.7 billion in revenue by 2024, per IDC estimates cited by Insider.

The bigger picture: 5G is starting to gain ground as a vital cog for edge computing applications and in-office business use. 

  • Microsoft is incorporating 5G and satellite internet connectivity into its Azure Cloud for business customers. 
  • AT&T is currently working on building a robust 5G network within a 4-mile zone that includes offices and residential and retail spaces at Amazon’s Crystal City campus, a possible prototype for smart cities.
  • Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are in a race to 5G deployment, which, while largely focused on blanketing city centers, has potential for use in businesses as well as public venues.

What’s next? There could be heated competition between 5G wideband and Wi-Fi 6, especially as the FCC opens up more spectrum for the latter technology. 

  • Business users will need to weigh Wi-Fi’s benefits of pricing and ease of deployment against the promise of more secure low-latency and high-bandwidth 5G wideband applications. 
  • Verizon’s deal with BlackRock, a high-profile financial firm, is the first showcase of private 5G technology yielding wider adoption by security- and performance-focused enterprises and government agencies.