Verizon 5G Home service starts Oct. 1
Verizon detailed its “Verizon 5G Home” fixed wireless access service this week at Mobile World Congress Americas, and will begin offering residential broadband plans on Oct. 1 in four markets–Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento. While the long-hyped 5G first is drawing a mixed reaction, Verizon Chief Network Officer Nicki Palmer, in an interview with RCR Wireless News, brushed off criticism and reiterated, “This is 5G end-to-end. This will evolve. Mobility is coming.”
AT&T is working on standards-based mobile 5G services in select markets by year end, but being first to market is important, Palmer said. “The first to market for us is a big deal. Our engineers live for this stuff and we’ll do it the right way. We’re dealing with municipalities in an upfront and responsible way. We’re installing equipment in a safe and responsible manner. And we’re looking at end-to-end performance and quality and reliability the way we do on our 4G network. Those sort of inherent behaviors, that all translates to the 5G networks.
“This first-mover advantage, it’s very meaningful. It’s how you’re testing and deploying; are you doing it in a lab or are you getting your engineers’ hands dirty? That’s how you get scale and that’s what we’re all about. That’s why being first is important to us. Real networks, real customers, finding the problems, fixing the problems—That’s the engineer’s way of continuous improvement. You can’t start that unless you get out there.”
This initial launch is based on a standard developed by Verizon and partners rather than the 3GPP’s 5G New Radio specification from Release 15. That means, as equipment becomes available, sites will have to be upgraded with standard-compliant infrastructure. Verizon execs have described the initial offering as “insurgent” and a way to take on cable companies outside of the Fios footprint in support of the “cord-cutting” movement. For customers, the first three months are free and after that Verizon Wireless subs will pay $50 per month, $70 per month for non-subscribers. There are no hardware fees, and no data caps; expect to see speeds around 300 Mbps down “and, depending on location, peak speeds of nearly 1 Gig, with no data caps,” according to the company.
“I’m not going to say that everything will always be 100% rosy or best case scenario. This is wireless. But, at the same time, we saw enough positive, enough exceeding our expectations, that we had something. Frankly, we’re leading with wireless.”
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