Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg offered an update to the investor community about Verizon this morning via the UBS Global TMT Virtual Conference 2021. Among many topics, the company’s push into fixed wireless was a hot topic, with Vestberg sharing insight into 5G fixed wireless subscribers.
Verizon’s fixed wireless ambitions are well documented, with the company on a path to pass 50 million locations across the country with both 4G and 5G fixed wireless technology by the end of 2025.
Vestberg calls fixed wireless one of Verizon’s five pillars of growth and he remains quite bullish about the business prospects and the experience that Verizon delivers to 4G and 5G fixed wireless subscribers.
Vestberg cites the coming launch of C-band spectrum for both mobile and fixed 5G services as helping accelerate Verizon’s fixed wireless business. He acknowledged fixed wireless has been in existence for some time, but he argues there’s a ‘new’ outlook for fixed wireless this time around.
“Why would fixed wireless access work this time as it’s never done before?,” said Vestberg. “Number one, we use the same network….that means that I can use all the backhaul, all the fiber, all the multi-routers for any type of access. Before you always [needed] a separate network and the economics wasn’t there.”
Vestberg also cited Verizon’s spectrum holdings as making a difference. He cited 1,800 MHz of mmWave spectrum and 161 MHz of C-band spectrum as more than adequate to deliver a great experience for 5G fixed wireless subscribers.
That prompted today’s investor conference moderator to ask about spectrum for 5G fixed wireless and any capacity constraints Verizon would face if fixed wireless really took off for the company. Vestberg doesn’t seem worried.
“Right now, our fixed wireless users on 5G are using more data than our Fios customers, that’s what’s happening today, they are using more,” Vestberg said. “We are guaranteeing minimum 300 megabits per second and of course, usually people are using 50, but we’re guaranteeing 300.”
Vestberg also cited the evolution of 4G spectrum capacity as a model of what will happen with 5G. He said 4G spectrum capacity has probably increased 10x with innovations like carrier aggregation and software improvements.
Vestberg thinks the same will happen with 5G, so he is not at all concerned about capacity constraints for 5G fixed wireless subscribers. “I cannot even see it,” he said, in response to the possibility of capacity constraints when and if Verizon’s 5G fixed wireless service reaches scale with millions of customers.