Verizon Promises Overhauled Fixed Wireless 5G Service Later This Year

Mike Dano
9/11/2019

The chief executive of Verizon's consumer business reiterated that the operator will begin offering a refreshed 5G Home fixed wireless service later this year. The offering will be deployed across all of Verizon's 30 5G markets, and will emphasize indoor antennas that users install themselves.

Verizon's fixed wireless efforts reflect the operator's desire to pair its mobile 5G offerings for smartphones with a stationary, 5G-powered Internet service piped into users' homes and offices. It also represents the company's most direct attack yet against cable companies such as Comcast and Charter Communications, which have based much of their business around selling Internet connections to residential and business users.

Verizon's Ronan Dunne said the operator's initial 5G Home launch in four cities in October of last year was a way for Verizon to test the technology before taking it mainstream. He said the operator has been testing exactly how to install and market the service. Specifically, he said Verizon has found that roughly 80% of customers can install their own receiver antenna for the service indoors, which eliminates the need for Verizon to send a technician to the customers' location in order to install a receiver antenna outside -- a potentially expensive proposition. Verizon technicians currently install its 5G Home equipment. Further, Dunne said that more than 90% of the traffic on the service is carried over Verizon's 5G network, with less than 10% falling back to Verizon's existing 4G network in the area.

Interestingly, Dunne said that Verizon also plans to release a new CPE (customer premises equipment) receiver next year that will feature a high-powered chip specifically designed to extend the range of fixed wireless services. He said that would improve customers' service, because the company is using chips designed for smartphones in its current CPE.

Although Dunne didn't name Qualcomm as the vendor for the new chip, Qualcomm just last week announced its new QTM527 mmWave antenna module, which it said delivers "the world’s first fully integrated extended-range mmWave solution for 5G fixed wireless access."

Dunne also retierated that Verizon's relaunch of 5G Home later this year will leverage equipment running on the 5G NR standard rather than Verizon's own 5G TF standard that it used for the launch of 5G Home in four cities last year.

Finally, Dunne also said that Verizon's 5G Home offering would eventually expand to all 30 markets where Verizon has promised to launch mobile 5G services. That's noteworthy since the operator appeared earlier this year to step away from initial promises to eventually expand 5G Home to 30 million households.

Dunne also addressed a number of other pressing issues:

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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rickuz
rickuz
9/13/2019 | 1:54:52 PM
What kind of antenna?
Mike, have you heard anything more about this new indoor antenna? I was not expecting mmWave 5G to replace a lot of wired internet connections because of the antenna issue. What Verizon is offering now is pretty much a wired connection, with an antenna mounted on the outside of the house and then drilling though the wall to the inside of the house to run a wire that connects to a WiFi router.

I heard that there was a two-piece antenna/receiver they might be looking at where both sides mount on a window. Maybe that's it. It will be interesting to see how well that does and what kinds of speed and latency customers get in the home. I think they would still be on WiFi in the home, though, because mmWave will need line of sight, even inside. I don't expect this (mmWave) to be significantly avaialble outside of urban areas anytime soon due to the line-of-sight issue and short distances that band supports, which will mean a lot of small cells. 
RooseveltCQuinones
RooseveltCQuinones
9/12/2019 | 5:05:23 AM
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