Verizon 5G NR Network to Touch 30 Markets by Year-End
Dan Meyer | February 22, 2019
Verizon has finally unveiled some of its 5G expansion plans, stating it will have standards-based 5G services in at least 30 markets by year-end. The move highlights robust plans for the carrier, though it could still lag behind rivals that are promising nationwide coverage in 2020. Verizon executives announced the expansion plans as part of a company-hosted investor conference. Ronan Dunne, executive vice president at Verizon and president of its wireless division, noted that those markets will be “real markets, open for sale.” That statement would seem to be pointed at critics of the carrier’s initial 5G Home service launch that was limited in scale and scope. Dunne only mentioned the use of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum for the expanded 5G offering. However, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg touched on plans to eventually layer in additional spectrum resources using dynamic spectrum allocation technology as it becomes available. This would most likely include mid- and low-band spectrum assets that are critical for expanding coverage. “The 30 markets give the carrier credibility on its 5G deployment claims,” noted William Ho, principal analyst at 556 Ventures. “Certainly, they’re lighting up those markets for 5G mobility and 5G Home as the growth engine to start the momentum for 2020.” Verizon was (sort of) officially first to market in the U.S. with a 5G service when it launched its 5G Home offering last October. However, that service used a proprietary standard and was limited to a few locations in just four markets.