Verizon, University of South Carolina open 5G hub


Verizon’s 5G hub is housed in the McNair Center in Columbia, South Carolina

Verizon and the University of South Carolina have launched a 5G hub to jointly explore how 5G technology can be used by industries, including manufacturing, healthcare and civil infrastructure, among others.

Verizon and the university launched the Innovation Experience Hub which brings Verizon’s 5G network to the McNair Center in Columbia, South Carolina. In this new facility, students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and corporate partners can collaborate design and test 5G-enabled solutions.

The carrier said in a press note that innovators at the hub will leverage 5G connectivity and solutions to help improve manufacturing processes with quality sensing and defect detection. In the healthcare space, they’ll test how 5G can enhance emergency response by supporting remote health monitoring and real-time analysis of patient vitals, as well as hospital connected asset management, to streamline asset retrieval and dispatch operations. In the area of civil infrastructure, researchers will look at how 5G can enhance monitoring of roads and bridges with condition analytics and reporting, as well as drone-based visual inspection of roads, bridges and buildings, using AI-driven computer vision.

“Working with the University of South Carolina, we have a great opportunity to collaborate with dozens of partners to ideate and develop new 5G-powered solutions leveraging the latest technologies, including large-scale IoT, artificial intelligence, computer vision and augmented reality,” Jennifer Artley, Verizon’s Business SVP of 5G acceleration, said in a statement.

Verizon highlighted that this new engagement is part of the carrier’s strategy to partner with enterprises, startups, universities, national labs and government organizations, to explore how 5G can disrupt and transform industries.

Verizon operates several 5G Labs in the U.S. that specialize in developing use cases in industries ranging from healthcare to public safety to entertainment. In addition, Verizon is collaborating with various customers to establish 5G Innovation Hubs on-premises as part of an ongoing initiative to co-innovate and create new 5G applications.

Earlier this month, Verizon said it successfully completed lab trials using 200 megahertz of C-Band spectrum to provide higher 5G speeds. Last month, Verizon announced it was beginning to deploy 5G over 100 megahertz of the spectrum.

The carrier said that this additional spectrum will enable it to triple the spectrum available for 5G services in many U.S. markets.

Verizon won C-Band licenses for between 140-200 megahertz in all available markets in a spectrum auction last year, when the carrier spent close to $53 billion.

Over the next few years as additional spectrum is cleared by satellite companies, Verizon said it will be able to deploy 5G technology on all available bandwidth that it has licensed, up to 200 megahertz.

Verizon currently holds a total of 2,035 megahertz of spectrum – 294 megahertz in sub-6 GHz spectrum (low and mid band) and 1,741 megahertz of mmWave spectrum (high band).