Verizon touted gains it has made involving its 5G and fixed wireless access (FWA) services in a blog post today. The post highlighted key achievements on its multiyear network expansion and update roadmap. The impact of the upgrade is evident in both how and how much the network is being used by customers.
A year after the 5G network launched, about 24% of customers were using 5G devices. Now, more than 68% have 5G-capable cell phones and “are using exponentially more data,” Verizon said.
The portion of 5G traffic using C-band spectrum makes up 38% of the total data on the network, an increase from about 14% a year ago.
Customer use of 4G has decreased as 5G usage increased. Slightly more than 56% of data is still on the 4G network; however, that contrasts with a year ago when 81% was 4G. Verizon says that this upgrade is not only good for customers transitioning from 4G to 5G, but it also improves 4G performance due to the reduction in traffic.
As a result of the upgrades, the overall network has gotten faster. Ookla, the company that offers Speedtest online, says that Verizon’s median 5G download speed increased 98.45% since January 2021.
Likewise, network monitoring service RootMetrics says that download speeds increased more than 176% since the second half of 2021 in the top 125 metropolitan areas tested. According to Verizon, RootMetrics found that the network was “undefeated” in 121 of 125 markets where competitive drive testing was performed.
Fixed Wireless Gains
The service provider says it is on pace for about 400,000 net adds for home internet each quarter, mostly via fixed wireless access (FWA). More than 2.5 million consumers and businesses were using Verizon’s FWA service as of August, with each customer using a bit more than 300 GB of data per month.
Verizon’s milestones in recent years include the introduction of 5G service to more than 230 million people, the expansion of 5G FWA to cover more than 40 million households, deployment of nearly 57,000 fiber miles since 2020, connecting about 51% of its cell sites with its own fiber, upgrading 76% of U.S. pro sports venues with 5G Ultra Wideband and the introduction of virtualization throughout the core and in more than 15,000 cell sites.
Verizon’s new ad campaign drives this point home. The first spot features three Verizon employees continuing to serve customers even though Verizon’s offices and the customers’ offices have literally moved to the beach.
Earlier this month, Verizon offered an update about another element of the redesign: network virtualization, a Kubernetes-based Webscale Cloud platform for all core network functions, cloud-native architecture, extensive orchestration and automation, and end-to-end virtualization.