Verizon testing 5G cell phone service in New Jersey

BASKING RIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Do you want faster cell phone service? Turns out the newest, fastest, next generation of wireless phones is now being tested in our area.

Verizon is joining AT&T to develop 5G service. Verizon is testing it in New Jersey.

It's the speed of fiber optics without the fiber.

The big gray van is the next big thing in wireless. It's basically a phone on wheels and it's been driving around Verizon's Basking Ridge headquarters, testing the company's newest technology, 5G!

"That is amazing. I cannot believe that, I mean I grew up with transistor radios this is the most amazing stuff going," said Rob McMichael, a resident.

Basking Ridge is one of three New Jersey towns where Verizon will be testing technology it says is more than 300 times as fast as the 4G phone you use today.

So from Basking Ridge we facetimed with one of the experts at CNET, which shot video of the van in action. This call, on an iPhone 6, a 4G phone, is the most advanced you can get today.

"I don't know how it looks to you, but for me it looks kind of muddy, a little glitchy," Eyewitness News said. "With 5G how would this be different?"

"I think it would kind of feel like what you would think of the internet as being in movies. Very seamless and fast you can download things and have video chats with people which you can't really do now. That's what the promise of 5G is," said Dan Ackerman, of CNET.

But Ackerman says you shouldn't get too excited. While moving from 4G to 5G will undoubtedly be dramatic, we're asking more and more from our phones than ever before. Cell phone companies, he says, are just matching future demand.

"Going forward if you look out five years in the future you can't even imagine the kind of data needs we're going to have even beyond 4K video into virtual reality things like that, so I think you're never going to get to the point where you're totally satisfying everybody's need," Ackerman said.

Over the next year, Verizon will be testing this technology in Basking Ridge, Bridgewater, and Piscataway, and only a small number of people will be given phones that can handle it.

The rest of us will have to wait for the network to be built out and for 5G phones to get on the market. And that can take four years at least.
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