Verizon announced today a dramatic expansion of its 4G LTE fixed wireless service, which targets more rural markets. The service is now available in 189 markets across 48 states.
Verizon initially launched the 4G LTE fixed wireless service back in July, in 3 markets, including Savannah, GA; Springfield, MO and Tri Cities, TN/VA/KY. The service offers 25 Mbps downstream service, but can peak up to 50 Mbps, according to Verizon. The pilot test must have performed well.
The service is offered as a self-install, using an all-in-one LTE-based home router and Wi-Fi gateway. Customers place the router wherever they have the best reception in the home.
Pricing starts at $40/month for existing Verizon mobile wireless customers and rises to $60 for non-customers. There are no monthly data caps.
“This summer, we introduced LTE Home Internet in select pilot markets, and the response from customers was incredible,” said Frank Boulben, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Products at Verizon in a press release about the Verizon 4G LTE fixed wireless expansion. “It’s clear the need for connectivity has never been greater during these challenging times, that’s why today, we’re expanding LTE Home Internet to even more customers in rural areas of America who may not have access to broadband Internet.”
Verizon is using this strategy to expand its broadband reach to smaller markets outside of its large urban markets. It’s a bit of a rural strategy, although some would argue many of these markets aren’t exactly “rural.”
Verizon provided a list of available 4G LTE fixed wireless markets here.
This strategy is not to be confused with Verizon’s other fixed wireless service, based on 5G technology. That service, Verizon 5G Home is targeting dense urban areas where Verizon uses its 5G millimeter wave spectrum holdings to deliver fixed wireless service at speeds of 300 Mbps or more.
Fixed wireless-delivered competition for fiber, cable, and DSL-delivered broadband service to the home is expected to increase, perhaps dramatically. Many carriers with fixed wireless ambitions recently won spectrum in the CBRS auction.
The FCC is also making more unlicensed spectrum available, some of which has existing fixed wireless operators salivating.
Verizon competitors T-Mobile and AT&T also have fixed wireless ambitions, and also cite expansion into more rural markets with it as a goal.