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Verizon this week announced plans to debut 5G residential broadband service in several U.S. markets late next year.

The company plans to roll out the industry's first commercial 5G fixed wireless broadband in Sacramento, Calif., in the latter half of 2018 and expand to two to four additional markets by the end of the year.

The wireless carrier conducted fixed wireless 5G trials in 11 markets this year and credited customer responses — and its confidence in millimeter-wave spectrum — for the announcement to launch commercial service.

"This is a landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality," Verizon CTO Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

Officials touted the wireless service's unprecedented speeds and potential to revolutionize mobile, Internet of Things, 3D and virtual reality applications. Vestberg added that the initial launches would also "provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G's future deployment on the global standards."

The company projected the initial market opportunity for 5G residential broadband to be about 30 million households throughout the U.S.

Verizon officials told analysts at a meeting Wednesday that 25 to 30 percent of the nation's homes could be served by 5G fixed wireless and that it set a goal of achieving 20 to 30 percent of the overall market share, according to a note from MoffettNathanson.

The note also said that although urban areas would likely see the first 5G services, rural areas could eventually be attractive for fixed wireless as well. Full national coverage, however, would likely take at least 10 years, analysts wrote, with Verizon's market share goals taking even longer.

Other wireless companies, the note added, are likely to challenge Verizon both for overall market share and, potentially, in individual cities. But the analysis warned that market factors could lead some operators to skip cities in which competitors beat them to 5G.

"That would create a truly bizarre market dynamic that is almost unimaginable today, where each operator 'owned' different cities, not just for FWBB but also for 4G LTE," analysts wrote.

AT&T has also been testing fixed wireless 5G technology this year. The operator expanded trials to three new cities in the fall following its initial test launch in Austin last June.

Although there has been some industry debate about the value of fixed wireless 5G deployments, in late August SNS Research predicted service revenue from fixed wireless 5G subscriptions will hit $1 billion by the end of 2019, largely driven by early commercial rollouts from Verizon and AT&T.

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