Verizon Confident 5G to Be Rolled Commercially in 2018

Trials up in eight of 11 trial markets, CFO says
Matt Ellis.jpg

Verizon Communications still sees 2018 as the commercial rollout for initial 5G-based services as it continues to collect results from its initial batch of field trials, which are using 5G-based technologies to deliver speedy fixed-wireless broadband.

“[It’s] too early right now to be more definitive…but we’re still confident that we’ll have commercial product in-market during 2018,” Verizon EVP and CFO Matt Ellis said on Thursday’s Q2 earning’s call.

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Ahead of more advanced use cases for 5G, such as mobility and self-driving cars, Verizon is starting off by testing it as a fixed-wireless technology in 11 markets (Ann Arbor, Mich.; Atlanta, Bernardsville, N.J.; Brockton, Mass.; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.) so it can get a feel on how it performs in different environments and settings and how the economics will add up.

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Ellis said trials are up and running in eight of those pre-commercial trials.

“We have the first batch of customers on the network. We will have trial results towards the end of the year that will give us valuable insights for commercial deployments,” he said.

On Tuesday’s call, Ellis did not advance the ball on Verizon’s plans to try out an OTT TV service that would compete with services such as PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, Sling TV, fuboTV and DirecTV Now.

Verizon CEO Drops OTT Hints