30M homes servable, 35% penetration in five years, significantly raising earnings. Brett Feldman made a gutsy call today. Brett has been accurate in the past about Verizon plans; he's the only other person who in Spring 2017 projected 30M. Brett's assumptions are. 

  • Verizon will add 5G millimeter wave to all their existing cell sites. (I estimate 60,000-70, 000.) This brings about 30M homes out of incumbent territory within 2,000 feet. He expects that to be mostly completed by 2022.
  • Verizon has demonstrated a gigabit at 2,000 feet, although I believe VZ  has provided no data on what percent of customers within 2,000 feet will actually be gigabit capable.
  • Based on a large rollout in 2019 going forward and matching the 35% to 40% take rate for Fios, he calculates a likely 7.9M subscribers for 2023. Verizon today has only 7M broadband customers.
  • Feldman expects Verizon mostly to upgrade existing cell sites rather than build many new ones in this period. He sees little increase in capex. I calculate that will allow Verizon to reach ~40% mmWave coverage, including incumbent territory. They will have "Gigabit LTE" elsewhere delivering speeds in the hundreds of meg. 
  • $50/month is the most likely price but he expects Verizon to experiment. 

If these presumptions prove true, mmWave fixed will be a profitable service to any wireless carrier who does not have a decent landline broadband offering. Nearly all European carriers and most Asians disagree, as I confirm in my report for STL Partners. 

Making similar assumptions for AT&T, they would reach almost half the U.S. because they have a larger incumbent territory. For now, AT&T is apparently undecided. The engineers are ready to go big but the CFO is unconvinced.

dave ask

@analysisbranch for latest updates

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Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error. daveb@dslprime.com

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