Verizon's Stone Says Initial Fixed 5G Will Need Truck Rolls

Dan Jones
9/13/2018
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LOS ANGELES -- Deployment Strategies for 5G NR -- Verizon's initial "5G Home" service will require costly engineer visits for installation rather than the more cost-effective self-installation approach, according to the operator's VP of technology development and planning, Bill Stone.

The Verizon man discussed the operator's upcoming 5G rollout at Light Reading's Deployment Strategies for 5G NR event on Wednesday morning. (See Verizon's Bill Stone: 5G Is Really Coming Home.)

But while this will increase Verizon's initial operational costs, wireless industry experts who talked to Light Reading here at our pre-MWC Americas breakfast gathering said the move makes a lot of sense.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) revealed that the 5G Home service will be launched in "parts" of four US markets on October 1. The 300Mbit/s fixed wireless service (with promised 1Gbit/s peak speeds) will come bundled with a choice of an Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) 4K TV product or a Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Chromecast Ultra. Verizon will offer three months' service free to early adopters, and then $50 a month to Verizon Wireless customers, and $70 to new subscribers. (See Verizon to Launch Fixed 5G Service on Oct. 1.)

Talking at Light Reading's early morning event, Verizon's Stone confirmed that, at least initially, the deployment of 5G antennas and customer premises equipment (CPE) for the service will need to be "professionally installed." (See Verizon's Fixed 5G: Are You Ready for the Wireless Gig Rush?)

Stone described this as a "white glove service."

Attendees at the Light Reading breakfast event said the professional installation approach is the right one, as it will give Verizon the best results on its early 5G service. Millimeter Wave (mmWave) 28GHz antennas need to be placed in the best position, particularly to get the best propagation with the signal, which has trouble penetrating heavy foliage, low-energy glass or certain building materials. (See Could 5G Have Found Its Glass Ceiling? for more.)

Verizon, however, is expected to introduce a self-install system for 5G at a later time, as this will cut truck rolls and overall costs for deploying 5G Home as an alternative to cable broadband. (See Verizon's Fixed 5G: A Cable Alternative Is Coming!)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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