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Verizon begins its ‘middle ground’ 5G C-band deployment

Verizon building antennas.
(Image credit: Verizon)

Verizon 5G, which secured an average of 161 MHz of C-band spectrum in the recent FCC spectrum auction in the US, has announced the rollout of  C-band equipment from Ericsson and Samsung, toi support its 5G Ultra Wideband and fixed wireless broadband service.

C-band spectrum is a vital piece of the 5G ecosystem, as it provides a  compromise between the broad coverage of lower frequencies, and the higher capacity of mmWave 5G. C-band spectrum sits between 3.4 GHz and 4.2 GHz and has become much sought after, as it doesn’t require new cell sites (like mmWave), and it has fewer challenging propagation conditions, working in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments, and facilitating 5G indoors.

“This is a massive undertaking designed to add this game-changing capability as quickly as possible to the network."

Kyle Malady, Verizon.

“We’re moving fast, with cooperation from our equipment partners, to have everything in place as soon as this C-band spectrum is cleared for use,” said Kyle Malady, chief technology officer at Verizon. “This is a massive undertaking designed to add this game-changing capability as quickly as possible to the network our customers already rely on for consistent, superior performance when they need it most.”

Working with Ericsson and Samsung

Verizon has stated that it will be adding the new 5G C-band spectrum in 46 markets in the first quarter of 2022, increasing the reach of its 5G Ultra Wideband service to a market of over 100 million people. And Ericsson will provide Verizon with its Antenna-Integrated Radio (AIR) product from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio.

“Ericsson has the expertise and track record to deliver best-performing 5G networks globally, and we continue to push technological advancements with our long-standing partner Verizon in delivering on their 5G ambitions,” said Graham Osborne, vice president and head of the Verizon customer unit.

As well as using Ericsson kit, Verizon will also take advantage of Samsung’s Massive MIMO radio, which supports high-capacity and throughput, and includes field-proven advanced beamforming technology. 

"We are proud to support Verizon in their C-band deployment to further expand 5G Ultra Wideband service."

Magnus Ojert, Samsung.

"Samsung and Verizon continue to expand our network collaboration – from delivering CDMA to introducing 5G Home and vRAN commercialization. Today, we are proud to support Verizon in their C-band deployment to further expand 5G Ultra Wideband service,” said Magnus Ojert, senior vice president and head of the Verizon division at Samsung. “Samsung’s C-Band and true virtualized solutions deliver the power and flexibility required to bring forward the full potential of 5G and enhance user experiences for Verizon’s customers.”

Following the initial introduction of C-band services, Verizon will continue to expand the service, and by 2023 it is expected to increase its reach to more than 175 million people in the US.

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.