Half of Verizon 5G Home customers are new to the company, said Ronan Dunne, Verizon executive vice president and president of the company’s wireless unit, yesterday. His comments came in response to a question about the Verizon 5G Home fixed wireless offering at an investor conference.
Dunne also offered an update on the performance of the company’s fixed 5G technology, while also emphasizing that the fixed service will share the same network infrastructure with the company’s mobile 5G service.
“We’re not building two networks,” he said. “We’re building one [network] and it’s a mobile network.”
Verizon 5G Home Customers
Dunne said he was surprised that so many Verizon 5G Home customers were not previously Verizon customers. A corollary of the revelation about the customer mix is that half of customers for the service, launched late last year, are paying $70 a month. Dunne did not reveal actual subscriber counts.
When Verizon launched Verizon 5G Home, it offered a price break for Verizon mobile customers, who pay $50 monthly for the fixed wireless service. Dunne confirmed the non-Verizon customers are paying $70 and added that he expects some Verizon fixed wireless customers who don’t currently use Verizon mobile service to use it in the future.
Verizon launched Verizon 5G Home in markets outside its landline service territory – an unsurprising move, considering that the offering competes with landline broadband services.
The advertised speed for Verizon 5G Home is 300 Mbps but according to Dunne, “most [customers] are seeing closer to one gigabit.” The company said previously that some people were getting better-than-advertised speeds but did not provide details at that time.
Dunne added that Verizon is only using 400 MHz of spectrum in the millimeter wave band to support the offering but has 1,000 MHz of total spectrum available in that band.
He also took time to clear up what he said was a misconception about deploying 5G in the high-frequency millimeter wave band.
Millimeter wave spectrum supports high bandwidth but has less range in comparison with the lower-frequency bands that have traditionally been used for mobile service – a reality that has generated concern that it would take a lot of time and effort to build out 5G service nationwide in the millimeter wave band. Dunne said those concerns are overblown.
“We built [our] 4G LTE [network] for a combination of coverage and capacity,” he said, adding that the company will be deploying 5G on the 4G LTE infrastructure.
That network is already quite dense in urban cores, which means the company may not need to deploy much additional infrastructure in those areas, Dunne said. Areas that will require densification primarily include outer ring areas of a market, he said.
Verizon made the decision to launch 5G service initially as a non-standards-based fixed wireless offering because doing so enabled the company to launch service sooner in comparison with a mobile offering but Dunne said the network will be based on the 5G NR standard, which supports mobile service, beginning in 2019.
Dunne made his comments at the Citi 2019 TMT West Conference, which was also webcast.