Verizon 5G in Atlanta

Verizon said today that it has reached more agreements to get early access to mid-band spectrum in the C-band. As a result, the company plans to deploy 5G Ultra Wideband service to at least 30 additional markets this year.

The company was the biggest winner in the C-band auction, and some of the licenses that it won were in areas where the satellite operators that traditionally used the spectrum agreed to early clearing via a deal made between the satellite operators and the FCC in advance of the auction. Verizon already has deployed service in some of those license areas while pursuing the new deals announced today directly with the satellite operators.

The spectrum involved in the new deals was originally scheduled to be cleared by December 2023.

According to a press release, Verizon will deploy at least 60 MHz of spectrum in all 30 of the new markets and up to 100 MHz of spectrum in some areas. Markets included in the expansion plans include Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver and Washington, D.C.

Verizon Mid-Band 5G

Verizon initially deployed 5G in the millimeter wave band, which offers the highest bandwidth but over relatively short distances. Subsequently the company deployed the service in low-band spectrum, which provides excellent coverage but relatively low speeds. Verizon said at the time that its low-band 5G speeds were similar to LTE speeds.

Meanwhile, competitors were deploying service in mid-band spectrum, which is viewed as providing the optimum mixture of speed and range. Verizon paid top dollar in the C-band auction for its mid-band spectrum and has been working hard to deploy it promptly. The new deals with the satellite operators are the latest example of that.

The company uses the name “Ultra Wideband” for 5G service deployed in mid-band or millimeter wave spectrum, while using the name “Nationwide 5G” for service deployed in low-band spectrum.

The company cites speeds up to a gigabit per second for its Ultra Wideband service.

“5G Ultra Wideband frees people up to do things on the go that many could only do before when connected to their home internet service,” said Verizon in today’s release. “This includes everything from downloading huge documents and seamlessly streaming movies in HD audio and video, to playing console quality games and conducting video chats, video conferencing and FaceTime calls with clear sound and video.”

Verizon also took the opportunity to cite the ways it is differentiating its 5G service in today’s release about the Verizon mid-band 5G deployments. Among the ways referenced:

  • Millimeter wave deployments continue across the densest parts of the network, including high-population venues, arenas, airports and gathering spaces
  • Upgrading backhaul connectivity from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps
  • A webscale platform designed to be multi-cloud to support private networks, private and public mobile edge computing, in-building cloud systems and multi-cloud management
  • Virtualization from the core to the “far edge” to minimize latency
  • The Intelligent Edge Network, Verizon’s multi-purpose fiber and multi-service IP edge, supports a variety of use cases efficiently and at scale
  • Advancements in massive MIMO and carrier aggregation pave the way for increased spectral efficiency, speed and capacity
  • Verizon continues to drive the 5G ecosystem through key partnerships

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