5G Home fixed wireless service relaunching in second-half of 2019

After commercializing its 5G fixed wireless access in four markets in October, Verizon will “relaunch” the 5G Home service in the second-half of this year, according to SVP for Technology Strategy and Planning Adam Koeppe.

Speaking at the MoffettNathanson 6th Annual Media & Communications Summit in New York City, Koeppe said the company sees 5G, both fixed and mobile for consumers and enterprises, as “a huge growth engine for us overall. From a business perspective, 5G will have extensions through all the various ways we monetize our network assets.”

The 5G Home deployments in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento were based on the Verizon Technical Forum specification and use the 28 GHz millimeter wave band. After the initial launch, the operator hit pause but that’s going to change soon.”

Koeppe said the VZTF spec “had a finite life, candidly. While it works great for 5G Home…it has limitations because we don’t have any additional development occurring on that spec, on the infrastructure, on the software or on the CPE.” Which means Verizon will restart using the global 5G NR spec developed by 3GPP, the VZTF-based service “has been phenomenal.”

Millimeter wave spectrum is a key piece of 5G given its ability to support very high throughput but with the trade-off of limited propagation. Although, Koeppe said Verizon is seeing links between radios and CPEs of up to 4,400 feet. He described three deployment scenarios the company is following.

Obviously there’s line-of-sight, then “virtual line-of-sight where the device on this end is seeing not a LOS signal but perhaps a reflected signal or reflections from multiple transmit nodes.” Then non-line-of-sight. “That end device cannot see that radio transmitter at all. It’s gathering signal from either reflection or refraction. All three of those are live today in both our 5G Home footprint and also in the mobility footprint,” which currently includes parts of Chicago and Minneapolis with more markets coming online soon.

“We know it works,” Koeppe said.

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