Verizon CEO: 5G will be a transformative technology

(Disclosure: Verizon is the parent company of Yahoo Finance)

The next generation of cellular technology could be one of the most significant technological advances in years. That’s according to Verizon (VZ) CEO Hans Vestberg, who sat down with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer for an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.

“I think that 5G has the potential to be one of the most transformative technologies that we’ve seen in a long time,” Vestberg said. “That will spur a lot of innovation of course.”

So-called 5G wireless is the next step in cellular connectivity after 4G LTE. It’s been suggested that the technology will allow for everything from advanced telemedicine to self-driving vehicles. And, of course, improved web browsing and app experiences for smartphone users.

FILE- This April 23, 2018, file photo shows the logo for Verizon above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Verizon is undergoing a significant restructuring under new CEO Hans Vestberg, including its dominant wireless division, as it prepares to roll out its 5G technology. Three months after Vestberg took control, Verizon said Monday, Nov. 5, that the company will be organized into four groups at the start of the year: Consumer, Business, Media, and Global Network & Technology. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg says 5G will be a transformative technology. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

As Vestberg sees it, 4G LTE offered two main capabilities, or currencies: speed and throughput. In other words, 4G LTE gave consumers and businesses the ability to download and upload large chunks of data at far faster speeds than 3G.

But 5G, the CEO said, offers eight capabilities including faster speeds and throughput, as well as extremely low latency, which is the special ingredient that will allow for such varied innovations as cordless augmented and virtual reality systems and cordless manufacturing.

“So there are a multitude of use cases on this, but the good thing is there are so many people and organizations innovating on top of the network, and that’s where we are going to collaborate and see that we get all of these efficiencies and this innovation out,” Vestberg said.

While 5G has been a major topic of discussion in the tech industry for some time, it still isn’t widely available to most consumers.

Vestberg pointed to Verizon’s 5G home installations as a part of the company’s rollout, but that technology is designed to replace your home broadband, not the 4G LTE connection for your smartphone. Proper wireless 5G, the CEO said, will be coming later this year.

“We have announced that we’re going to have two phones coming out this year, one with Motorola one with Samsung on the 5G network we’re building,” Vestberg said. “We have not said what day it is going to come, but definitely the mobility is coming this year.”

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