Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!

Dan Jones
9/22/2016

As cable companies get on Verizon's turf in mobile, Verizon is moving into cable territory with fixed wireless 5G.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs & Co. conference Thursday, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CFO Fran Shammo addressed Verizon Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) deals with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Charter Communications Inc.

"We knew they were coming... when we entered the agreement," he said. (See Charter Will Activate Verizon MVNO Deal and Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017.)

But Verizon, as the wholesaler, believes it has an advantage. "A wholesale model is extremely profitable, because you remove the retail part," Shammo added.

However, the CFO made it clear that he expects Verizon's fixed wireless 5G, with 1 Gbit/s connections to the home, will take on cable and "or any broadband connection for that matter." (See The Return of Fixed Wireless Access.)


For all the latest news on 5G, visit the 5G site
here on Light Reading.


Shammo thinks it will be much cheaper for Verizon to deploy 5G than FiOS. "The cost benefit is pretty substantial, or at least we believe it is," Shammo said. He wouldn't, however, give any sense of what Verizon might charge for a 5G service.

Basically both technologies require that Verizon digs up the street if it doesn't have fiber in place already. "We're doing that in Boston now," Shammo said.

FiOS, however, requires that Verizon digs up the subscriber's driveway and installs customer premises equipment. 5G just needs a wireless home router that could be installed by the users themselves.

Verizon is starting commercial trials in 2017. "You will see us in different markets, testing different manufacturer's equipment in different models. This will include rural, suburban, and city tests." The operator will be looking to find out things like how many homes a 5G small cell can cover and more. (See Verizon Hits 1-Gig+ in 5G Trials, Eyes Early Applications.)

Shammo thinks his key advantage is the 28GHz bandwidth that Verizon got the rights to lease through acquiring XO Communications. "That covers 40% of the US," he said.

That's all licensed for fixed wireless use for the time being, as per the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules. We're hoping that'll become mobile at some point down the road," Shammo said. (See Verizon Cleared for Take-Off on Fixed 5G.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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DanJones
DanJones
9/26/2016 | 2:18:12 PM
Re: fois
He's pretty mild compared to Lowell!
KBode
KBode
9/26/2016 | 2:15:25 PM
Re: fois
I kind of enjoy Shammo in the same breath that he warns not to overhype 5G...over-hyping 5G. 
DanJones
DanJones
9/26/2016 | 2:01:23 PM
Re: fois
They've called it a pilot or a friendly user trial.
KBode
KBode
9/26/2016 | 1:54:17 PM
Re: fois
Yeah they keep insisting on some kind of 2017 commercial presence for fixed 5G, but I assume this is going to be a public trial?
DanJones
DanJones
9/26/2016 | 12:26:20 PM
Re: fois
Fixed 5G is probably more like 2018 for Verizon
steve q
steve q
9/24/2016 | 1:26:42 AM
Re: fois
Even with the cost of the fiber going to people home that is what most people are looking for not something new for their cellphone. I myself will use my FiOS service then using Verizon wireless just due to the cost of the data plan, the company is still missing the main point of not providing an outside source of Wi-Fi.  The 5g may be great come 2020 but today we need to have better speed in data or we will lose out with the cable company. And being in that field of dealing with the customer they like to have it know and at the right price. Not hope that things will come
DanJones
DanJones
9/23/2016 | 3:00:17 PM
Re: fois
The backhaul spend is going to be potentially massive. Google is testing 3.5GHz radios AFAIK.
bosco_pcs
bosco_pcs
9/23/2016 | 2:51:52 PM
Re: fois
I was visiting friends out in Mtn View last month and he commented that there are some strange antenna configurations in the apt balconies. Btw, my friend got a PhD in telecom, so he knows what he is talking about. The next day, I read Google bought Webpass.

So, who knows, maybe the race is on!

 

Incidentally, my friend argued that 5G is too expensive though, even though VZ killed his last business venture by rolling out 4G aggressively. The point is, sometimes they have to do it not because it makes economical sense but because it is an existential imperative, i.e., to get ahead of others
DanJones
DanJones
9/23/2016 | 12:47:23 PM
Re: fois
They're not going to do that. This is all about finding new revenue streams. I still think 5G service will probably be a flagship in a couple of cities to begin with too. Shammo was talking about rural and whatnot but still means laying lots of new fiber close to homes. Not cheap!
steve q
steve q
9/22/2016 | 10:24:52 PM
fois
It sounds great that Verizon is doing 5g over fiber or like in Boston ma 5g over FiOS. But there is still a small issue of the customer there is no equipment that customer can use today and 2017. But in Comcast and Charter they have passed the 1gbit speed over coax wiring. So the best hope is that with this deal that cable company got off Verizon will not stop Verizon in their plan with 5g, and with the cost of today 4glte data package and when the main company Samsung is not pushing a 5g phone out until 2020 who is going to test it. The best thing for Verizon is to lower the price of the FiOS data only customer and then dump the G90 and find a easy way to provide the tv service over fiber