Here’s when Verizon says you’ll get 5G wireless service that’s 200 times faster than today

Lowell McAdam
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam Business Insider/Michael Seto

Wireless phones are due for a big speed boost, when new 5G, or fifth generation, wireless service rolls out.

When is it coming?

According to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam: soon, for some.

The first pilot tests of 5G wireless service will begin early next year, McAdam said Wednesday at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference in New York.

5G will provide super fast wireless speeds, with data throughput of up to 1 gigabit per second, McAdam said. Today’s smartphones typically connect to the network at speeds of 5 megabits per second by contrast, he noted. “This is 200 times improvement in speed,” he said.

Here’s how McAdam said 5G will roll out.

First on the list is Verizon’s own Baskin Ridge, New Jersey headquarters. The campus will be set up with 5G in January, McAdam said. From there, Verizon will begin running “technology pilots” with with a limited numbers of users and partners early next year in cities including San Francisco, New York and Boston.

If you’re an average consumer though, you’ll have to wait a little longer. The commercial rollout of 5G is scheduled for 2017 “and beyond,” he noted.

Of course, there’s been a lot of talk about 5G for several years now, with nothing to show for it yet. And some say that many technology issues need to be ironed out before commercial 5G becomes a reality.

McAdam didn’t provide many details about the technology itself, and the company has previously said that it will need access to more wireless spectrum before it can begin widespread commercial deployment of 5G.

But McAdam sad 5G is real.

“I showed my board the service in November,” he said. And, he added, “you don’t ever go to a board with something that’s not real.” So there you go.