Verizon also said 5G Home service set for expansion

BARCELONA–After a limited launch of its 5G Home service in October last year, Verizon last week added some clarity to its plans for a mobile service–CEO Hans Vestberg, speaking at an investors event, said the carrier will turn up mobile 5G in 30 cities in the first half of this year.

The 5G Home service is currently available in parts of four markets and is based on the Verizon Technical Forum standard, not 3GPP’s 5G New Radio standard, although the operator said it will be upgraded to the global standard. The mobile launch, which taps the company’s millimeter wave spectrum to provide an enhanced mobile broadband experience, will be based on 5G NR.

“Today, we outlined our vision of the future of Verizon,” Vestberg said. “This is our commitment to be on the leading edge of technology to provide customers with the best network experiences in the world, to deliver growth in revenue and profitability, to expand our 5G leadership, to sustain value to shareholders, and to enable services that benefit society and make the world a better place.”

In terms of device support, Verizon has so far announced three compatible smartphones. The moto z3 will feature a clip-on “mod” that contains millimeter wave antenna modules. And last week at the Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco, Vestberg joined the OEM’s mobile chief DJ Koh to announce the Galaxy S10 5G will be offered to Verizon customers ahead of other U.S. carrier subscribers. Verizon, along with all three other U.S. carriers, will also offer LG’s latest flagship, the G8 ThinQ, which was unveiled ahead of Mobile World Congress Barcelona.

Verizon is branding its fifth generation network 5G Ultra Wideband.

In addition to updates on its mobile and fixed wireless strategies, Verizon executives pointed out that its LTE Advanced network, which features 4X4 MIMO, 256 QAM and multi-channel carrier aggregation, now covers 1,500 markets. LTE Advanced is what AT&T has begun calling “5GE,” going so far as to work with Android OEMs and Apple to show customers a “5GE” indicator on their devices.

Vice President of Network Engineering Mike Haberman attributed Verizon’s continued success in a recent round of RootMetrics testing to its investment in LTE Advanced.He said Verizon has a larger “5GE” footprint than AT&T.

Further commenting on AT&T’s “5GE” branding, which has prompted Sprint to file a federal lawsuit alleging false advertising, Haberman said, “I think it hurts the industry quite frankly because you appear disingenuous. Sometimes in this industry you get painted with the same brush. They make no material changes and they call it 5G. I think it shows poor form. And it’s going to dilute the message when true 5G is here.”

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