WeWork among first installers of commercial indoor 5G from Verizon and Corning

Dec. 15, 2020
WeWork signs contract for indoor cell site deployment in 10 locations across the U.S.

After successful trials in September, Verizon Business and Corning on Dec. 10 announced the companies have begun commercial installations of in-building 5G cell sites for enterprise customers -- advancing this platform "from proof of concept to commercially available and scalable in just a few months," noted the companies.

Initial deployments of Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband system are being made in the provider's retail store locations to provide the fastest experience for its customers and employees, with deployments also set to be installed at WeWork locations across the US. 

WeWork, a global specialist in flexible space solutions, is one of the first companies in the world to have signed a contract with Verizon Business to provide Corning’s indoor 5G cells, with ten WeWork locations across the US set to receive installations. Understanding the ever-increasing technology demands of businesses and employees due to COVID-19 and the acceleration of their digital transformations, the firms say this collaboration will help meet these needs by creating an agile hybrid model, while offering the ability to harness the power of Verizon 5G. 

“As technology continues to shape the future of work, 5G networks are set to play a fundamental role in improving the user experience, facilitating next generation connectivity and allowing users to access unprecedented network speeds. We believe our customers deserve the most advanced 5G technology to provide a genuinely differentiated and superior service,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “We have quickly moved from proof of concept to commercial availability and now scalability for our enterprise customers. The unprecedented performance of 5G Ultra Wideband is not just an investment for growth, it is a critical step in our customers’ digital transformation.” 

“As the last several months have shown, the demand for flexible space solutions, accompanied with the ability to connect to reliable, fast networks, has never been more valuable. That is why WeWork, a leader in flexible space, is partnering with companies like Verizon, to elevate the quality of business solutions available to members in our spaces so that they are able to run and grow their business,” added Hamid Hashemi, Chief Product and Experience Officer at WeWork. 

Corning’s indoor cell site platform is designed to provide Verizon’s 5G mmWave service inside facilities such as hospitals, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, schools, ports, commercial office space, retail stores and any indoor environment where large amounts of data traffic must be managed and optimized. The launch of these indoor cell sites will not only extend the footprint of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, but will also bring the promise of private networks with Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) capabilities one step closer, say the firms. 

“In order to move the cloud into an organization’s facility, they must first have access to the fastest 5G in the marketplace,” observed Verizon's Erwin. “By combining access to our 5G Ultra Wideband indoors, with a private MEC platform to bring the power of the cloud into a business’ facility, and a private core that helps to run the operations of the network, an enterprise will be able to have a secure, ultra-reliable, high-speed, low-latency private 5G solution.” 

The companies contend that having all three components (5G Ultra Wideband indoors, private MEC, private network core) of the private 5G network in a single facility will increase speed and efficiency by eliminating the need for data to cross through multiple routers and across large geographies. It will also eliminate the need to share core resources with the macro network and offer the flexibility to develop specific capabilities customized to the private network owner. 

As further explained by the companies' statement: 

A private 5G network will accelerate enterprise automation and digitization efforts, enhance how customers interact in a retail environment, support sensors and alerts in all aspects of an operation, and provide real-time, on-site video analysis. With Verizon’s mmWave bandwidth and reliability, it will offer the scalability to manage massive numbers of devices along with advanced capabilities such as Edge AI, computer vision and other emerging technologies. 
Corning’s indoor 5G solution, part of Corning’s portfolio of indoor cellular solutions for the enterprise, features a fully integrated baseband unit, radios and antennas in a sleek package. It delivers future-ready 5G performance by utilizing Corning’s innovative composite fiber, with fiber for data transmission and copper for powering in a single cable. 

“Corning is pleased to see our 5G mmWave indoor cell sites play a critical role in Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network -- bringing high-speed, low-latency network capabilities to Verizon’s enterprise customers,” concluded Michael O’Day, vice president, Corning Optical Communications. “Enterprises need a cost-effective way to unlock the opportunities of indoor 5G, and Corning’s easy-to-install solution is designed to meet that need. We’re delighted Verizon will bring these capabilities to their customers, in the latest example of our long-standing collaboration.”

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