Verizon Building

Verizon expects to expand its higher-speed 5G service, dubbed Ultra Wideband, now that all the spectrum it won in the 2021 C-band auction has been cleared. The spectrum also will support the company’s 5G Home fixed wireless offering and business internet services.

C-band spectrum is considered mid-band spectrum, which is widely viewed as supporting the optimum mixture of coverage and range for 5G. Verizon began deploying the spectrum in 46 markets after the auction. Completion of the clearance process means that it can expand to all markets for which it won licenses.

The company has between 140 MHz and 200 MHz of spectrum per market.

Verizon says that the final clearance occurred four months ahead of the company’s original projections. Some markets will double or triple available bandwidth, with some getting a full 200 MHz.

Verizon now has access to:

  • A minimum 140 MHz of total spectrum in the contiguous United States and an average of 161 MHz across all 406 available markets.
  • As much as 200 megahertz in 158 mostly rural markets covering almost 40 million people.

“Early access to the remainder of the C-band spectrum puts us another four months ahead of schedule from our original projections,” Joe Russo, Verizon’s EVP and President of Global Networks and Technology said in a press release.

“This additional spectrum will make 5G Ultra Wideband available to even more Americans, and will open up more availability of our home and business broadband solutions. The more spectrum we deploy on our network, the more capacity we add for our customers to connect.”

Verizon put extra effort into getting the spectrum quickly cleared by the satellite providers that previously owned it.

In March, 2022, Verizon said it had reached agreements for early access to mid-band spectrum in 30 markets. That spectrum was originally scheduled to be cleared by this December.

Last September, Verizon reported what it termed “remarkable” results in testing the full 200 MHz of C-band spectrum.

Currently, Verizon C-band 5G service is available to about 222 million people in 359 partial economic areas (PEAs). More than 40 million have access to Verizon Home Internet. The carrier says that it has 2.3 million 5G and LTE fixed wireless customers.

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