Verizon to Launch 5G Next Week

Mark Lowenstein / April 1st, 2016

Verizon Wireless, hoping to recapture their network magic, announced plans to launch 5G services nationwide as early as next week. This is the first 5G wireless service to be launched anywhere in the world. The service will feature download speeds of up to 5 Gbps, upload speeds of 500 Mbps, and network latency of as little as 1 millisecond – good enough for autonomous vehicles. Verizon said a super-secret technology “dream team” in Walnut Creek had been working on the 5G project, codenamed “5G#1”, for about three years. “Those hundreds of people who everyone thought was working on Go90 were actually working on 5G.” said a Verizon spokesperson.

Verizon, which for many years had the reputation of having the best wireless network in the United States, is hoping to get another ten years of marketing mileage with this network launch. Verizon has been losing some market share recently, as competitors’ networks have steadily improved and upstarts such as T-Mobile mounted aggressive marketing and pricing campaigns. Verizon is even bringing back the most famous advertising campaign in wireless history with a refreshed message, rolling out commercials next week with the tagline “Can you Video Stream Now?”

As part of this announcement, Verizon announced plans to migrate all FiOS subscribers to 5G by the end of the year. “FiOS was always too bloody expensive to build,” said a spokesperson. “We were just getting sick and tired of people asking us to build it in cities such as Boston and New York. So, you want ‘mobile first’? Here’s your ‘mobile first’”.

President Obama, in a statement from the White House, hailed the initiative. “We lag behind the world in every other aspect of infrastructure. And it looks like my high-speed train project isn’t ever going to get off the ground. So, at least we can say we have the world’s fastest wireless network.” Predictably, the presidential candidates weighed in. Donald Trump praised Verizon, saying, “This is all part of “Making America Great Again”. They’re building a wall around their competitors!” In fact, Trump said he was prepared to pay $1 billion to get the network named “The Trump Network” but Verizon declined the opportunity. Senator Bernie Sanders expressed some skepticism about the initiative, saying, “I’m sure they’re going to charge a premium price for 5G. This will only widen the inequality gap.” Ted Cruz quipped, “well, I’m sure those Hilary emails will now load faster,” The Kasich campaign admitted the GOP presidential candidate has auditioned to be the new “Can You Video Stream Now” spokesperson, in a last gasp effort to gain some visibility.

Verizon provided a few more details on how it is achieving this network, especially since 5G is still a few years away from being standardized. The network is “completely cloud-based, NFV, SDN, SON, super advanced MIMO, the whole shebang.” said Verizon. “In fact, there’s not one piece of physical infrastructure in this network.”

Verizon’s competitors were taken by surprise. T-Mobile, which had planned on parading its “Wireless Bill of Rights” in front of Verizon headquarters next week, said. “Yeah, even if it’s 5G, they’re still probably going to charge an activation fee.” Sprint, which has been planning an ultra-fast LTE network using its 2.5 GHz spectrum assets, was notably peeved. “We had finally kinda sorta figured this 2.5 GHz thing out. Now this.” said a spokesperson. AT&T, which several years ago billed its HSPA+ services as ‘4G’, is considering now branding its LTE Advanced service ‘6G’.

As part of this network launch, Verizon announced a number of exciting partnerships to help demonstrate the benefits of 5G:

• Netflix announced that UltraHD video content will be available exclusively on Verizon’s 5G network. “No throttling, no nothing.” said Netflix in a statement. Predictably, the network neutrality crowd jumped on this, saying “Netflix should make UltraHD available on all networks, even if there’s no hope those networks could actually handle it”.
• Apple announced it would make a special 5G iPhone especially for Verizon. “The iPhone SE was sort of a head fake,” said an Apple spokesperson. “Our best and brightest have been secretly working on this.” As part of this, Apple announced unlimited video and music streaming on Verizon’s 5G network, as part of an iTunes reboot. “Just like Verizon is capturing some of that ‘ol network magic, so too are we hoping to do this with iTunes.” Apple said.
• Amazon announced all Prime subscribers will be able to use Verizon’s 5G network free of charge for the next year. “Well, the whole network is being built on Amazon Web Services, so we’re killing it there.”

Finally, as a side note to the 5G announcement, Verizon announced it is going to acquire Yahoo!. “They just need to be put out of their misery,” said Verizon. “Since we already bought AOL and are bringing back the “Can You Hear Me Now” campaign, we thought Yahoo! fits nicely with the retro theme.” said Verizon.

Hope you enjoyed this bit of April Foolery.

Mark Lowenstein

Mark Lowenstein is Managing Director of Mobile Ecosystem, an advisory services firm focused on mobile and digital media. He founded and led the Yankee Group's global wireless practices and was also VP, Market Strategy at Verizon Wireless. You can follow him on Twitter at @marklowenstein and sign up for his free Lens on Wireless newsletter here.
  • Helgar

    You may be April Fooling but Trump would pay more than $1 billion to get America renamed Donald Trump Nation.

  • jfutral

    “[Yahoo] just needs to be put out of their misery,”

    April 1 or not, no truer words were spoken.

    Joe

    • obarthelemy

      Have pity for the oldies, my main email address is still on Yahoo. It’s the only well-formed one too, there are wayyy too many Olivier Barthelemy in this world, and I know of 2 that work in IT, one ninjaed gmail :-/

  • Vadim Dumin

    Does 5G extend to subways? There is a number of teenagers f.Messenging in subways… A new name for the network already in place and will be announced shortly. For those who can’t wait anyways, it will be called OMG network.

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