Verizon said today that it now covers more than 175 million people with its 5G Ultra Wideband service and that the company’s roll-out of service using its C-band spectrum is 13 months ahead of its original schedule and one month ahead of a more recent revised schedule.
Ultra Wideband is the term that Verizon uses for service deployed in the C-band and in millimeter wave (mmWave) bands — both of which support higher speeds in comparison with 5G deployed in lower-frequency spectrum. Millimeter wave spectrum supports the highest speeds but over relatively short distances. Accordingly the Ultra Wideband service relies in large part on the C-band spectrum, which Verizon won in an auction in 2021.
As it continues to build out C-band spectrum, the company said it will begin activating 100 MHz of C-band spectrum in many markets, an increase from the 60 MHz that the company had to work with initially. Verizon also noted that it will continue to deploy high frequency mmWave spectrum, which it says is ideal for dense use cases such as stadiums and densely populated areas and for enterprises’ private network deployments.
Spectrum in the C-band was repurposed from its original use by satellite providers. Verizon won spectrum subject to early clearing, which enabled it to deploy service as quickly as it did. Some of the spectrum sold in the auction will not be available to the auctions winners until next year.
To maximize the C-band spectrum available for deployment, Verizon made deals with the satellite operators after the auction to gain early access to spectrum that wasn’t expected to be available until next year.
“Our customers don’t stand still and neither does our network. Today, more than one out of every two Americans now have access to 5G Ultra Wideband. We know our customers rely on our service every day and we work for them – continuously enhancing, expanding and improving our wireless network,” Verizon Chairman and CEO of Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said in a press release.
Joan Engebretson contributed to this report.