Verizon not only plans to double the number of cities that has access to its mmWave 5G, but also expand existing coverage in cities throughout the year. The company revealed this week that it plans to offer Verizon 5G for mobile customers in 60 cities, up from 31 at the end of 2019. Verizon also aims to bring home 5G internet service to 10 cities, up from 5 last year.
None of the new cities have been named at the time of writing.
As Verizon continues to compete with rivals AT&T and T-Mobile to provide the best and most extensive 5G coverage, this news will be welcomed by customers and investors alike.
"We have the opportunity to continue our journey to be the leader on 5G," Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said at a meeting with investors this week. "We're not only expanding markets, we're also expanding coverage in all the markets."
Despite Verizon’s plan to reach more cities, T-Mobile still leads the way with significant nationwide 5G coverage. However, T-Mobile’s 5G does operate on a low-band, meaning its speeds aren’t much faster than 4G LTE, and don’t match Verizon’s.
Each carrier has a different approach to delivering 5G, and whilst Verizon’s mmWave connection is super speedy, it is unable to reach large areas without the use of small cells to extend it, and it also can’t pass through thick walls and other structures. This is compared to T-Mobile, which has expansive coverage, but slower speeds. And lastly there’s AT&T, which is taking a middle-ground approach, offering both super-fast and slower speeds to expand its coverage.
Why Verizon’s coverage is important
These coverage announcements from Verizon should do well to counter investor concerns regarding the daunting task of deploying its 5G using mmWave spectrum. As its 5G cannot pass through solid objects effectively, Verizon is being forced to construct more small cell transmission sites, but as of yet we don’t know an exact number.
But it’s still positive news to hear that Verizon is focusing on boosting its 5G coverage, as well as adding new cities to its growing list of 5G locations. And whilst its rival AT&T appears to be focused more on building out a streaming video operation via its acquisition of Time Warner, it’ll be a significant win for the company if Verizon can achieve more widespread coverage using mmWave and small cell technology.