When Verizon turns up 5G mobile service in the C-band later this month, the company also will be offering 5G fixed wireless service in the C-band. In an interview with Telecompetitor, Verizon Business Chief Revenue Officer Sampath Sowmyanarayan said the company will cite a speed of 100 Mbps.
According to a Verizon website, prices will be as low as $25 a month when bundled with mobile service, a potentially disruptive price point in the face of cable broadband competition.
The company said previously that it will make 5G C-band mobile service available to 100 million people at the initial launch and according to Sowmyanarayan, C-band 5G fixed wireless service also will be available to 100 million people, as well as to two million businesses.
The fixed service will not be available in areas where Verizon offers its Fios fiber broadband service, but instead targets new use cases and areas where internet service is poor or slow, he said. A new use case might include a kiosk or construction site.
According to Sowmyanarayan, Verizon will not be capping the number of customers who can subscribe to fixed wireless service from a cellsite. That’s something Telecompetitor asked him about after reading a research note from MoffettNathanson last week stating that T-Mobile was capping the number of fixed wireless customers on a cellsite-by-cellsite basis to leave sufficient capacity for more profitable mobile customers.
“When you have enough capacity, you don’t have to worry about that,” Sowmyanarayan said.
Until now, Verizon has offered LTE fixed wireless, as well as 5G millimeter wave fixed wireless. The latter service supports the highest speeds but over relatively short distances. Offering 5G fixed wireless in the C-band should improve coverage, but Sowmyanarayan declined to provide specifics, citing variations caused by antenna angle, topology and other factors.
Instead, he said interested parties can enter their address into an online interface that will tell them if service is available at that address.
New Customer Premises Equipment
Verizon will be introducing yet another generation of customer premises equipment to support 5G fixed wireless C-band service. While initial installations required a truck roll, the new devices are designed to be shipped out to the customer for self-installation, Sowmyanarayan explained.
The 5G fixed wireless C-band offering also will include security features, he noted.
Verizon’s fixed wireless net customer additions for the third quarter of 2021 were 55,000 – a substantial portion of 129,000 net broadband additions. With expanded availability of fixed wireless for 2022, the portion of net broadband additions coming from the service could grow considerably this year.