The field tests would make Verizon the world's first carrier to make a serious move towards 5G. It could also bring a tech revolution due to it's massive improvements in speed.
"The future is going to bring more stuff that I can't really describe," Gurnani said. "We can't possibly envision the full range of disruptive products and services. But we have some possibilities."
Verizon's tests put 5G at about 30 to 50x faster than 4G with speeds even faster than Google Fiber's direct connection into the home. For example, downloading "The Guardians of the Galaxy" could take as little as 15 seconds compared to 6 minutes over 4G.
In addition to being faster, 5G is also more responsive and more power-efficient.
It's far more responsive, so the precise hand movements of a surgeon in Tokyo could be transferred to New York in real time. It's supposed to be more power-efficient, so devices are expected to last 10 times as long. Carriers will also be able to send more data across a fatter pipe, so a hit show like "Game of Thrones" will stream just fine even if millions of other people are watching too.
"At this time, our focus is on the technology field trials and accelerating the technology," says Gurnani. "It's a very aggressive timeline," says Rima Qureshi, chief strategy officer of telecommunications equipment supplier Ericsson.
Other carriers are also planning to test 5G in the near future. South Korea wants to deploy a trial network by 2018 and Japan hopes to have 5G running in time for the summer olympics in 2020.