The two cities will be what the FCC calls “Innovation Zones” or city-scale experiments for advanced wireless communications and network research.
New York and Salt Lake are about to become 5G test-bed cities
Both cities already have licensed experimental programs under way (Salt Lakes is called POWDER), but the Innovation Zones extend the area where tests can be done and lets researchers conduct multiple experiments “under one authorization.” It also allows licensed programs in other areas to use the New York and Salt Lake zones.
The National Science Foundation formally proposed the Innovation Zones, claiming that they would “enable experimental exploration of robust new wireless devices, communication techniques, networks, systems, and services that will revolutionize the nations wireless ecosystem.”
Salt Lakes zone will support POWDER, or Platform for Open Wireless Data-driven Experimental Research, which essentially provides equipment for researchers to conduct experiments “in a city scale living laboratory,” the website reads. It will be run jointly by the University of Utah and Rice University.
The program will allow researchers to access its programmable equipment from anywhere in the world to run their own software to create experimental networks.
Few concepts are more central to America than experimentation and innovation. Its what we do best, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a news release. So its exciting and inspiring to see our Innovation Zones program taking off. These projects will test new advanced technologies and prototype networks like those that can support 5G technologies”
5G stands for the fifth-generation of cellular wireless, with each generation marked by a new method of encoding or conversion of data into characters and symbols. 5G stands apart for three reasons: faster speed, lower latency (or delay) and its ability to connect a lot of devices at once.
The newly named “Innovation Zones” will get city-scale testing of advanced wireless technologies like 5G.
The Federal Communications Commission named New York City and Salt Lake City as its first two “Innovation Zones” on Wednesday. The two metro areas will act as city-scale test-beds for advanced wireless communications and network research and experimentation, including 5G, according to a press release.
Both cities already have licensed experimental programs under way. The Innovation Zone extends the areas in which tests can be done, and gives the flexibility to conduct multiple experiments under one authorization. Its meant to help develop new technologies and services, while also protecting existing services against interference, the release said.
“These projects will test new advanced technologies and prototype networks like those that can support 5G technologies,” FCC Chair Ajit Pai said in the release. “Were also establishing a process to ensure new innovators can have access to this testing resource while protecting current, licensed users.”
This wont be either citys first foray into 5G: AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have all announced that they are building 5G networks in New York City, and some have launched 5G in parts of the city already. Verizon also plans to have 5G launched in Salt Lake City and more than 30 others by the end of 2019.
Innovation Zones — which are supported by the National Science Foundation, as well as a group of telecom and tech companies — will pair local universities and cities for test-bed development and deployment. Researchers with experimental licenses in other areas can also use these zones, the release said. All involved must comply with FCC guidelines and provide advanced notice of their projects.