Verizon CFO Fran Shammo was putting a brave face on the way the MVNO deals could enable its rivals even before the emergence of MuLTEfire and MEC. “We knew they were coming… when we entered the agreement,” he said. “A wholesale model is extremely profitable, because you remove the retail part.”
But he added that Verizon’s planned fixed wireless network, which it is trialing with its own pre-5G technology in 28 GHz spectrum, will take on cablecos. “The world is going to be wireless. So if you believe the world is becoming wireless, which I think most believe, then this pie is going to grow,” he said. “I mean, 5G fixed wireless would be a competitor to cable, or any broadband connection for that matter.”
He added: “The cost benefit is pretty substantial, or at least we believe it is,” and said that he hoped the FCC would, in future, allow mobile usage in the 28 GHz band. Verizon acquired lease rights to that spectrum, across 40% of the US, with its acquisition of XO Communications’ core business.
Verizon is convinced that deploying 5G will be much less expensive to deploy than FiOS, according to Shammo. 5G will require additional the installation of additional wireline so that the small cells can be connected – but much less than installing fiber under or above the streets and lawns all the way to and then into the home – which is not necessary with 5G. 5G deployments only requires that Verizon ship a new 5G Wi-Fi router to the home where the subscriber can plug it into an electrical outlet – and coax or Ethernet if they are used for home networking.
Shammo and Verizon must know much more about 5G’s capabilities and deployment costs because Verizon has said it’ll start building the 5G network by year-end, which means it has put in many hours of research and engineering and testing. Shammo did not say how much it will charge subscribers for the service or what speeds will be available. He talked about further experimentation and testing by saying, “You will see us in different markets, testing different manufacturer’s equipment in different models. This will include rural, suburban and city tests.”
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