This week in a earnings call Verizon’s CFO Matt Ellis re-confirmed their plans to roll out their 5G internet service in 2018.
“We’re confident we’ll have commercial product in the market during 2018,” Verizon EVP and CFO Matt Ellis said on Thursday’s Q2 earning’s call. “[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 already has 11 markets testing out the new 5G home internet service in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Atlanta, Bernardsville, N.J.; Brockton, Mass.; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
Verizon is also spending a billion dollars to run additional fiber lines to their current cell phone towers to help handle the additional traffic from 5G customers. The goal is to start with a fixed 5G network meant for phone use but Verizon hinted during the call that a mobile launch of 5G could be in the future for smart phones.
The Internet is the backbone of cord cutting, but it is also its Achilles heel. Internet access allows cord cutters to stream a ton of content, but it is also a bottleneck that allows ISPs to do as they please however, that is about to change with 5G.
With 5G no longer will ISPs need to run fiber to homes but can just run it to cell phone towers, allowing new ISPs to wire towns in months not years. This will mean for the first time in-home Internet will have true competition. With 5G you will no longer be limited to one or two Internet options but will have a long list of wireless Internet options competing with DSL and cable.
Although we are still likely a few years out for most Americans it is planned that over half of Americans will have access to at least one 5G network in 2020, some are already starting now. Verizon is testing 5G in 11 markets this year, and AT&T is already testing 5G in Austin, Texas and in Indianapolis, Indiana. AT&T is even using DIRECTV NOW to test their 5G network to make sure it can handle video streaming.
With more options comes competition that will help force down the cost of Internet. The goal is that new competitions will prevent ISPs from doing as they please when so many of its customers have no other options.
Source: Light Reading
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