On Verizon’s third quarter earnings name Wednesday, CEO Hans Vestberg stated that over the previous couple of months the provider has deployed extra radio base stations than it did in all of 2019, talking to the tempo of rising its 5G footprint.
Vestberg stated the provider’s 5G technique and roll out has remained constant, however didn’t quantify the deployment with a precise determine.
Earlier this yr executives stated the operator aimed to roll out greater than 5 occasions the variety of small cells in 2020 than it did in 2019.
Verizon’s mmWave 5G footprint has been extraordinarily restricted in comparison with rivals low-band rollouts. Nevertheless, Verizon’s chief govt famous that the know-how staff is now rolling out 5G in an surroundings with “unconstrained provide” for mmWave, which was not the case final yr because the provider was one of many first to deploy high-band 5G and the ecosystem pushed to be prepared.
When it comes to tempo, Vestberg additionally pointed to the current growth of Verizon’s Extremely Wideband 5G service to elements of 19 new cities. The service, which makes use of high-band millimeter wave spectrum that Verizon sees as a differentiator, is now in restricted areas of 55 cities. Verizon additionally nearly doubled the scale of the footprint in many of the cities the place its mmWave 5G service already launched as a part of the “enormously huge rollout,” Vestberg stated.
Verizon notably timed the launch of its personal low-band nationwide 5G service with the debut of Apple’s first 5G-capble lineup of iPhones final week, however that efficiency isn’t anticipated to be a lot totally different than 4G. The provider’s mmWave 5G, in the meantime, is supposed to supply “an unparalleled expertise” in accordance with Vestberg, who joined Tim Prepare dinner on stage at Apple’s occasion.
He added that the concept is to construct a transformative expertise, which performed into aligning with the iPhone 12 reveal.
To that time, Verizon simply demoed peak 5G speeds of 5.06 Gbps by aggregating mmWave spectrum with companions Ericsson and Qualcomm. That was within the lab, not what’s anticipated in real-world circumstances at this level, however nonetheless broke the 5 Gbps barrier on a single system.
It should proceed to enhance its UWB 5G community with fiber and capabilities like cell edge compute (MEC), the latter of which has launched at 5 websites commercially with Amazon. Verizon just lately debuted a extra highly effective buyer premises gear (CPE) that’s self-installable for its fastened wi-fi 5G Dwelling service that’s out there in eight cities, with 10 deliberate by yr’s finish.
Nonetheless, Vestberg stated none of this adjustments what Verizon has stated about its income trajectory for 5G, or when it expects to generate income from its multi-billion greenback 5G funding, with the totally different enterprise instances it has. He reiterated Verizon doesn’t anticipate to see revenues from 5G Dwelling or mobility till 2021, with 5G MEC revenues anticipated in 2022.
“What it reveals is that we’re actually in execution mode proper now in bringing monetization on high of our 5G funding,” Vestberg stated on the earnings name.
In its earnings report Verizon stated it now expects capital spending to land on the high-end of the $17.5 billion to $18.5 billion vary it anticipated for 2020. As of the top of the third quarter, Verizon’s capital expenditures for 2020 had been $14.2 billion. That cash has been used to assist elevated visitors on Verizon’s 4G LTE community, its mmWave and low-band 5G buildouts, and important fiber deployments in additional than 60 markets.
The FCC public sale for mid-band C-band spectrum is predicted to start out on December 8, the place Verizon is broadly anticipated to bid aggressively. It’s presently the quiet interval for the public sale, so executives couldn’t focus on C-band on the decision.
In a notice to traders Wednesday, MoffettNathanson analysts stated they nonetheless see AT&T as taking part in protection extra so than Verizon, particularly with Massive Blue’s very aggressive iPhone 12 offer. Nevertheless, the Wall Road agency remained unconvinced of Verizon’s mmWave focus, saying the overreliance has left the provider weak.
Whereas MoffettNathanson thinks “the celebrities could also be aligning for Verizon to at the very least be an in depth second” to T-Cellular by way of amassing a big arsenal of obligatory mid-band spectrum, analysts famous there’s nonetheless the steps of buying and deploying these frequencies.
“That may take time,” wrote senior analyst Craig Moffett. “And it’ll take numerous cash.”