Today, Verizon announced that it will be rolling out limited tests of its 5G network in 11 cities around the US. The tests will involve select customers in those cities, and best of all, it’s happening this year.

The lucky cities are Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Select customers in those cities will have the opportunity to participate in the trial — it’s not open to any Verizon customer, so don’t start planning the road trip just yet.

Trialing 5G with real-world customers is a big step for any network. The speeds being promised by 5G should be a genuine game-changer for wireless connectivity, as real-world gigabit speeds should be possible. That’s faster than the vast majority of people’s home broadband network, and more than fast enough to do anything you could dream of on a cellphone.

In fact, Verizon is already looking beyond cellphones and into the home broadband market with 5G, and that appears to be the main focus of this technology test. The press release issued by Verizon mentions gigabit home broadband multiple times, so it’s clear that the company (and its technology partners) see home and office internet as the immediate application for 5G.

Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.