Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) says that its ongoing C-band rollout is a full 13 months ahead of the original schedule and continues to accelerate. Less than 21 months after garnering the lion’s share of C-band licenses in FCC Auction 107 and after securing early access to the top 30 markets this year, Verizon confirms that it has already surpassed its goal of providing coverage to 175 million people by the end of 2022, a month ahead of schedule. It now says that its 5G Ultra-Wideband service will be available nationwide in Q1 2023.
Along with providing greater coverage, particularly in rural and suburban areas, Verizon will enhance network capacity by activating 100 MHz of C-band spectrum in many markets. This bandwidth expansion is a significant step up from the 60 MHz that was provisioned with the first C-band deployments. Once all of its licensed spectrum is made available, Verizon will have up to 200 MHz of C-band spectrum deployed in many markets. The company suggests this wide bandwidth will provide very high connectivity speed and throughput capacity.
Complementing the wide area coverage provided by C-band spectrum, Verizon continues to roll out 5G Ultra-Wideband with millimeter wave (mmW) spectrum on small cells. The company uses mmW spectrum to provide very high capacity in areas with significantly dense concentrations of subscribers such as convention centers, stadiums, arenas, airports, metro downtown areas, and high-rise office and hotel complexes.
Verizon is using mmW for Enterprise private 5G networks that need high-speed, low latency connections for applications such as wireless manufacturing solutions, connected vehicles and remote healthcare and education.
Furthermore, Verizon continues incorporating advanced technologies into its 5G network for increased security, reliability and customized user experiences. Those advancements include fully deploying the 5G core with Verizon’s proprietary telco cloud platform, integrating the fiber network to wireless sites, continuing virtualization to add programmability and flexibility into the network, use of artificial intelligence, developing edge computing capabilities, and utilizing advanced antenna configurations.
“Our customers don’t stand still and neither does our network. Today, more than one out of every two Americans now have access to 5G Ultra-Wideband,” says Hans Vestberg, Verizon Chairman and CEO. “And as proud as I am to have crossed this milestone, I am equally proud of the way we are building our network – with the most advanced technologies, industry leading security, a robust fiber underpinning and a robust and varied spectrum portfolio. We are building this right. We are building this as a platform for innovation for years to come.”
By John Celentano, Inside Towers Business Editor