Verizon revealed the third of its four planned 5G cities for launch later in 2018, as well as plans to launch fixed "residential broadband" service in those four cities this year, on its second-quarter earnings call Tuesday morning.
Outgoing CEO Lowell McAdam said on the earnings call that Verizon has selected Houston as the third city for gigabit-speed fixed 5G service -- using its homegrown 5GTF specification -- in "the second half of this year." Verizon has already selected Sacremento and Los Angeles as two of its other four 5G cities so far. (See Verizon CEO Says LA Is Second 5G City.)
McAdam said that Verizon is now positioned to be "the clear leader ... in 5G services" in the US. (See Verizon's Fixed 5G: Are You Ready for the Wireless Gig Rush?.)
New Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, who officially starts on August 1, later revealed on the call that the operator plans to launch one more 5G market this year. It had originally announced plans to launch between three and five markets in 2018. "News and updates will be provided," Vestberg said of the forthcoming fourth market.
Despite the 5G work, CFO Matt Ellis said on the call that capital expenditures hit at $7.8 billion for the half-year mark, and are expected to be at the lower end of the company's predicted $17 billion to $17.8 billion range. In the Q&A session, he explained that part of that calculation is that Verizon is spending on "small cells and densicifation" rather than larger macro cellsites.
The company is still intently spending on fiber, however, as Vestberg noted. Verizon is "progressing well" on building out 50 sites outside its ILEC footprint "for 5G," he said.
Current loose ends include standardized mobile 5G, as Verizon waits for infrastructure and handsets that use the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio specification to "reach maturity," Vestberg said.
Meanwhile, all the executives agreed that enterprise 5G will be an important use case in the future. Nonetheless, Vestberg noted that many potential enterprise customers are waiting for [IoT] features coming in "revision 16 [3GPP Release 16]," which expected to be finished at the end of 2019.
For the quarter, Verizon reported operating revenues of $32.2 billion, up 5.4% from the same quarter in 2017, with net income down 5.2% to $4.2 billion. Verizon recorded a post-tax hit of $900 million, largely due to the shuttering of its Go90 video service, the operator said.
Verizon is trading up at $51.50, or 0.73%, Tuesday morning on the earnings report.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading