By Juan Pedro Tomás on
CFO Matthew Ellis said Verizon is already deploying commercial nodes in initial markets
Verizon aims to launch residential broadband services through 5G fixed wireless access in additional geographies in 2019, the telco’s Chief Financial Officer Matthew Ellis said during a recent earnings call.
The executive said that the telco is on track to launch the 5G-based residential broadband service in three to five markets this year, as it had been announced last year.
“The spend on those three to five initial launch cities began earlier this year, so that’s ongoing. You should expect to see spend in additional cities be underway by the end of the year, so that we’re in a position to launch additional geographies in 2019,” he added.
“Deployment of commercial nodes on our own fiber asset is underway in the initial markets. And earlier this month, we performed successful end-to-end 5G data sessions in these locations using commercial equipment that will be deployed from the launch later this year,” Ellis said.
The company’s first commercial 5G launch is expected to take place in Sacramento, California during the second half of 2018.
“Our 5G deployment is progressing as planned. We are quickly approaching the initial launch of our residential broadband service later this year, which will be the first use case of a broader 5G strategy. We are driving the ecosystem for future growth across the entire array of 5G services,” Ellis said.
Last year, Verizon tested 5G fixed wireless access in 11 U.S. markets, which the company said included several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations.
“We are very bullish about 5G. We think there’s tremendous upside, whether that be residential broadband, whether it be mobility. Really the most exciting pieces as you get into the new use cases that don’t exist on the current technologies around IoT, B2B type applications. So we are full steam ahead on our 5G deployment,” Ellis added.
Comparatively, AT&T is less enthusiastic about the role of 5G fixed wireless access in its overall network plans. On the carrier’s quarterly call this week, CFO John Stephens expressed some reservations about the clarity of the business case for 5G fixed wireless access, and said that the operator is “more excited” about other things it has in motion, including its build-out of Band 14 for the First Responders Network Authority, its fiber build and its mobile 5G and “5G Evolution” (which utilizes LTE Advanced Pro features).