Verizon currently connects 48% of its cell sites with fiber that it owns and is on track to achieve its goal of having 50% of cellsites on owned backhaul by the end of the year.
Fiber in the core network also is a big deal, of course. In June, traffic on Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network had increased 249%. To support this and expected continuing increases, the carrier is upgrading older routing equipment with new devices capable of supporting 400 Gbps per port optical technology. When completed, the upgrade will enable Verizon to manage 115 Tbps of data, with upgrades in subsequent years to 230 Tbps.
“Owning and operating the fiber that carries customer data from the cell site throughout the rest of the network allows the company to meet changing capacity needs rapidly, control upgrades and repairs to fiber cables and electronics immediately, as well as add security, control and reliability into network operations — all critical to create the most reliable network for customers and provide the capacity and speeds needed now and into the future,” according to a press release.
Of course the more fiber Verizon owns to its towers, the less fiber-to-the-tower revenue is available to other carriers. It’s a lucrative business for fiber operators and many carriers rely on it.
Verizon has made several related announcements this week. It said this week that it had completed lab trials of the use of 200 MHz of spectrum in the C-band to carry traffic. The company claimed that it achieved “remarkable” speed and performance.
The company also said that it also had deployed more than 8,000 virtualized cell sites. Verizon was the biggest winner in the C-band auction, paying $45 billion to obtain between 140 MHz and 200 MHz of spectrum in every market nationwide.
The carrier announced in early August that it would upgrade to 400 Gbps per port as bandwidth demand grew. Verizon said the new equipment will reduce space requirement and drive down power usage and operating cost per gigabyte, increase automation and push the equipment deeper into the network.