Verizon has announced a wide range of upgrades to its San Francisco network and the opening of its third Innovation Lab in the city.
The carrier says that 80% of the city’s population now is covered by its Ultra Wideband Network using C-band spectrum. Ultra Wideband is the term that the carrier uses for service deployed in the C-band and millimeter wave (mmWave) bands.
C-band spectrum is considered mid-band spectrum, which is seen as offering the optimum mixture of speed and coverage for 5G.
Recent and pending Bay Area upgrades include:
- Mid-band spectrum: Verizon says that by the end of the year the amount of C-band spectrum deployed in the Bay area will increase from 60 MHz to 140 MHz. The mid-band spectrum will support Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service.
- High-band spectrum: Verizon engineers have deployed more than 400 small cells throughout the Bay. These sites support 5G service using mmWave spectrum. An example is deployment of 20 mmWave nodes to provide premium 5G Ulta Wideband service in venues in the area.
- Fiber upgrades: Verizon has increased the capacity on the fiber connections in many cell sites in the Bay area. Some now carry 10 times the amount of data that they did previously.
- Advanced technologies: In addition to mobile edge computing (MEC), the carrier is deploying M-MIMO (Massive Multi-in, multi-out) antenna configurations. Verizon also is using carrier aggregation in which low-band, mid-band, and high-band spectrum are teamed in various combinations. In the Bay area, engineers have used up to seven channels of carrier aggregation.
Verizon and its partners have selected the Bay Area for a newly opened Innovation Lab. The 27,000 square-foot facility provides integrated spaces with collaboration products and an active lab environment for development and testing.
The lab features commercial and private 5G networks, Non-Stand Alone and IP Multimedia Subsystem (NSA and IMS) cores, multiple shielded RF rooms and a full private MEC portfolio for developers. Verizon also has Innovation Labs in Los Angeles and Boston.
In January 2021, Verizon made its 5G Home and Ultra Wideband fixed wireless services available in San Francisco among several other cities.