Verizon went to town in the recent US FCC C-Band auction and has now announced that they will use the company's significant mid-band spectrum holdings to offer increased 5G mobility and broadband services to millions more consumers and businesses.
“Today is one of the most significant days in our 20-year history. This was a highly successful auction for Verizon – a once in a lifetime opportunity – and I am thrilled with what we were able to accomplish,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon.
$52.9 billion C-Band spend
Spending $52.9 billion, Verizon 5G has more than doubled its existing mid-band spectrum holdings, by adding an average of 161 MHz of C-Band nationwide. The American conglomerate won between 140 and 200 megahertz of C-Band spectrum in every available market.
Verizon announced that in the next 12 months they expect to have incremental 5G bandwidth via the new spectrum available to 100 million people in the initial 46 markets, delivering 5G Ultra Wideband performance on C-Band spectrum.
Company predictions for 2022 included coverage expected to be increased to more than 175 million people and by 2024, when the remaining C-Band is cleared, more than 250 million people are expected to have access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband.
“Since we began building 5G, we have had a first mover advantage. We are more than a year ahead in building and selling mmWave with our 5G Ultra Wideband service and still the only company with commercial Mobile Edge Compute. Now we intend to extend our lead by accelerating our deployment of C-Band. Our new C-Band position combined with our mmWave, means we are the only carrier suited to deploy the fastest, most powerful 5G experience to the most people - or as we call it, 5G built right,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon.
C-Band compatible 5G devices
While not all 5G phones are C-Band compatible, more than 70% are, including all iPhone 12 models, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series and Google Pixel 5. Verizon said that going forward all 5G phones they bring to market to postpaid customers will be C-Band compatible, with more than 20 C-Band compatible devices offered by the end of the year.
Verizon is making its slower nationwide 5G available on all of its plans, but access into its fastest millimeter-wave 5G will require customers to buy a "premium" unlimited plan. This premium plan requirement will expand to C-band too.
5G broadband strategy
The acquisition of this C-Band spectrum will allow Verizon to accelerate 5G fixed wireless access broadband adoption, for both home and business users.
By the end of this year, Verizon expects to cover nearly 15 million homes with its home broadband product, and by the end of 2023, 30 million homes, using both 4G and 5G. Verizon 5G Home internet offers download speeds up to 1 Gbps, depending on location, is currently available in 18 markets, with one to two million households expected to be covered via mmWave by end of 2021 and a total of 15 million with LTE Home and the arrival of the first tranche of C-Band.
Verizon 5G Business Internet uses a high powered fixed 5G Internet receiver for high speeds and reliability and is now available in three markets on mmWave with plans to bring the product to 20 more before the end of the year.
5G Edge Acceleration
Verizon Business is well positioned to capture significant edge compute share and is in-market today with both public and private MEC models in collaboration with leading cloud providers.
With the addition of C-Band spectrum, Verizon said the company is now well placed to capture significant edge compute share and is in-market today with both public and private MEC models in collaboration with leading cloud providers. Verizon estimates that by the end of 2022, the total edge compute addressable market in the U.S. is estimated to reach $1 billion, and by 2025, rapid adoption of Edge Compute is estimated to create a $10 billion addressable marketplace.
“Verizon Business has a strong first-mover advantage to build a nationwide Mobile Edge Compute platform and be both a market leader and a market maker. This is not just an idea, it’s happening. Companies in every industry are finding exciting ways to bring 5G and 5G Edge to life - leveraging the full capabilities of 5G from throughput and ultra-low latency to sensor densification and rock solid reliability,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business.
Verizon’s C-band acquisition should allow the company to give T-Mobile a run for its money in the US, when it comes to 5G network performance. Only last week T-Mobile announced new 5G plans and services for remote workers in the US.