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Verizon will start testing speedy 5G wireless in 2016

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Fast 4G data is only just becoming relatively commonplace in the US, but Verizon is already thinking about the next big thing. The carrier just unveiled plans to trial 5G wireless service sometime during 2016. You won't likely see it deploy 5G in earnest until 2017 at best, but the technology theoretically makes even modern-day LTE look pokey. You could get 50 times the peak bandwidth, under 10 milliseconds of lag and headroom for many more devices. In short, this is the cellular tech you've been waiting for -- it nearly eliminates the gap in quality between landline internet access and your smartphone.

Big Red isn't a stranger to fast network rollouts -- it was the first major carrier to offer LTE in the US, after all. However, whether or not it can pull that off with 5G is another matter. There isn't a finalized 5G standard yet, so the test run might not move forward until the dust settles on the new spec. Also, there's no guarantee that 5G will arrive quickly, or with the quality Verizon is teasing. It took years before LTE was widely available, and the network has had trouble keeping up with demand. Even if all the stars align and 5G arrives quickly, you may have to deal with limited coverage and so-so performance for a while to come.

[Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.

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