US operator Verizon revealed its 5G plans on the back of committing $45.5 billion to acquire C-Band spectrum, with the expansion of its next-generation network expected to fuel revenue growth over the next three years.
In an analyst meeting, Verizon said it had succeeded in more than doubling its existing mid-band holdings, and won between 140MHz and 200MHz C-Band spectrum in every market.
The auction results represented a 120 per cent increase in its spectrum holdings in sub-6GHz, and with C-Band used widely across the world, Verizon said it will allow for roaming opportunities, economies of scale and streamline deployment of the spectrum across the US.
Verizon said it expected to have incremental 5G bandwidth via the new spectrum available to 100 million people in 46 initial markets over the next 12 months, delivering its Ultra-Wideband network on C-Band spectrum
Over 2022 and 2023, this coverage is projected to increase to more than 175 million people, and by 2024 and beyond more than 250 million people will have access.
Verizon explained the C-Band spend is expected to deliver strong growth to its balance sheet in the years ahead, with an uplift of 2 per cent or more in service and other revenue for 2021, which it disclosed as part of its Q4 2020 earnings.
In addition, it projects more than 3 per cent revenue growth in 2022 and 2023 and more than 4 per cent in 2024.
Verizon also committed an additional $10 billion in capex over the next three years covering its C-Band deployment, on top of its current capex guidance of $17.5 billion to $18.5 billion for 2021, which is expected to be at comparable levels through to 2023.
Away from mobile, Verizon hopes to accelerate its fixed wireless access proposition, with ambitions to cover nearly 15 million homes by the end of this year and 30 million at end-2023.