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Verizon and Samsung Electronics recently completed an end-to-end fully virtualized 5G data session over the C-band spectrum in a live network environment. The new milestone was reached in preparation for Verizon’s upcoming 5G Ultra Wideband expansion using its newly acquired C-Band spectrum.

“We have been driving the industry to large-scale virtualization using the advanced architecture we have built into our network from the core to the far edge. This recent accomplishment paves the way for a more programmable, efficient, and scalable 5G network,” said Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of Technology Planning at Verizon. “Customers deserve more than mere access to 5G. They deserve 5G built with the highest, gold-standard engineering practices that have positioned Verizon as the most reliable industry leader for years.”

Conducted over Verizon’s network in Texas, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, the trials used Samsung’s fully virtualized RAN (vRAN) solution built on its own software stack and C-band 64T64R Massive MIMO radio in coordination with Verizon’s virtualized core.

Cloud-native virtualized architecture leads to greater flexibility, faster delivery of services, greater scalability, and improved cost efficiency in networks, paving the way for wide-scale mobile edge computing and network slicing. This technology enables Verizon to rapidly respond to customers’ varied latency and computing needs.

“We’re proud to mark another milestone following our first large-scale commercial 5G vRAN deployment for Verizon, which is currently servicing millions of users. This trial reinforces our commitment to helping operators evolve their advanced 5G networks,” said Junehee Lee, executive vice president and head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “This achievement represents our dedicated efforts in leading the transition to virtualization and helping Verizon realize greater efficiency, scalability, and flexibility. vRAN is a powerful enabler for network transformation, and we aim to continue leading this journey.”

“Incorporating full, cloud-native virtualization, Massive MIMO, and beamforming into our network design and deployment will result in so much more than our customers merely seeing a 5G icon on their devices. This is 5G service optimized for peak performance,” added Koeppe.

This virtualization work comes on the heels of speeding the expansion of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service using C-band spectrum including successful trials integrating C-band with mmWave licensed spectrum and securing new agreements with Verizon’s tower partners, Crown and SBA Communications.

These combined efforts, along with ongoing lab and field trials to optimize 5G technology on the C-band spectrum will allow Verizon to offer expanded mobility and broadband services to millions more consumers and businesses as soon as the spectrum is cleared.

In the first quarter of 2022, Verizon expects to put into service the new 5G C-band spectrum in the initial 46 markets and to provide 5G Ultra Wideband service to 100 million people. By 2024 and beyond, the coverage access will expand to more than 250 million people.

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