FWA, MEC, and private networks are key to Verizon 5G monetization plan
As discussions among operators turn to monetizing massive investments in 5G networks, Verizon today held an investor event that laid out in detail how it sees its network creating new service revenue in the near term. Key drivers of revenue growth identified by executives include fixed wireless access home internet, premium and value 5G mobility, mobile edge computing (MEC) and other B2B solutions like IoT and private networks. And those are opportunities that will scale as Verizon expands C-Band 5G coverage to 175 million people by year-end.
Detailing the revenue side, Verizon estimates service and other revenue growth of 3% this year, “at least” 3% in 2023, and 4% in 2024 and following. CFO Matt Ellis also put this in the context of capital intensity dipping below 12% in 2024 when the initial C-Band build is complete which equates to higher free cash flow.
CEO Hans Vestberg said Verizon has spent the past few years redefining itself resulting in a much larger addressable market than it has had in the past. “I hope you get the feeling for the things and actions we’re taking…how we’ve redefined Verizon, putting the Verizon intelligent edge network as a base, putting the network-as-a-service on top of it, then having the five vectors of growth which leads to the financial commitments.”
With regard to 5G-backed FWA, Verizon said it plans to cover 50 million households and 14 million businesses and have 4 million to 5 million FWA subscribers by the end of 2025. The long goal is becoming a nationwide broadband provider and making FWA the second largest contributor to revenue growth behind mobility.
For private networks, Verizon announced this week it was building out a system for BlackRock’s headquarters at Hudson Yards in New York City, and announced a turnkey solution brought to market with Celona. This is geared toward small-and medium-sized enterprises looking for fast time-to-value.
Alongside private networks, other B2B solutions like private MEC and IoT will contribute to new revenue growth, according to Verizon. “We are scaling and growing private networks which serve as the gateway to private edge compute capabilities and solutions,” CFO Matt Ellis told investors. “We’re in a great position to drive the market.”