Verizon's Bill Stone tells Mike Dano at Fierce, "Verizon will essentially double its 5G Home channel configurations from 400 MHz to 800 MHz, and that the speeds and capacity available through the service would double as a result." With 400 MHz, many Verizon customers are getting close to a gigabit today. The doubled capacity can be deployed in many ways.

Speeds could be doubled from "300 to 1,000 megabits." Verizon could raise the top speed to 2 gigabits for consumers to outpace U.S. cablecos, now mostly at 1 gigabit. (Some cablecos are starting to offer 1.5 gigabits.) Very, very few consumers can make effective use of even a gigabit, but the evidence around the world is that customers buy speed even if they don't use it. 

Raising the 300 megabit minimum to 600 megabits would be a welcome move. Ex-CEO Lowell McAdam said the Verizon 5G would be targeted at a gigabit for all. I was shocked when VZ instead said 300-1,000 on launch.  My initial thought was they were just covering their rear on problem cases, but then Vestberg said some customers would not get mmWave but something slower. 

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The additional capacity can be tuned to raise speeds, serve more customers, deliver better service to businesses, or extend reach. I suspect the decisions haven't been made yet and marketing will play a large role.  

 

 

dave askOn Oct 1, Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network. It will soon offer a gigabit or close to 30M homes. Thousands of sites are live in Korea; AT&T is going live with mobile, even lacking phones. The hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

The estimates you hear about 5G costs are wildly exaggerated. Verizon is building the most advanced wireless network while reducing capex. Deutsche Telekom and Orange/France Telecom also confirm they won't raise capex.

Massive MIMO in either 4G or "5G" can increase capacity 4X to 7X, including putting 2.3 GHz to 4.2 GHz to use. Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAM, and other tools double and triple that. Verizon sees cost/bit dropping 40% per year.

Cisco & others see traffic growth slowing to 30%/year or less.  I infer overcapacity almost everywhere.  

Believe it or not, 80% of 5G (mid-band) for several years will be slower than good 4G, which is more developed.

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5G Why Verizon thinks differently and what to do about it is a new report I wrote for STL Partners and their clients.

STL Partners, a British consulting outfit I respect, commissioned me to ask why. That report is now out. If you're a client, download it here. If not, and corporate priced research is interesting to you, ask me to introduce you to one of the principals.

It was fascinating work because the answers aren't obvious. Lowell McAdam's company is spending $20B to cover 30M+ homes in the first stage. The progress in low & mid-band, both "4G" and "5G," has been remarkable. In most territories, millimeter wave will not be necessary to meet expected demand.

McAdam sees a little further. mmWave has 3-4X the capacity of low and mid-band. He sees an enormous marketing advantage: unlimited services, even less congestion, reputation as the best network. Verizon testing found mmWave rate/reach was twice what had been estimated. All prior cost estimates need revision.

My take: even if mmWave doesn't fit in your current budget, telcos should expand trials and training to be ready as things change. The new cost estimates may be low enough to change your mind.