Verizon Wireless’ chief network officer said the company did not need to participate in a recent 600MHz incentive auction to lead the 5G “revolution”.
Nicola Palmer (pictured) said the operator’s existing spectrum holdings covering 700MHz, 850MHz and 1900MHz, along with PCS AWS1 and AWS3, leave it well positioned for the shift to 5G, which she argued would not simply be an evolution of LTE.
In a statement, Palmer said Verizon is leading the charge towards 5G: “establishing the infrastructure that will allow businesses, government agencies, educational institutions and consumers to take advantage of this new technology.”
The network chief added 5G “won’t be a wireless ‘evolution’, with better speeds and feeds, but a true revolution changing the way we work, interact, learn and play.”
Key features of the next-generation networks including enhanced fixed and mobile broadband, low-latency services and massive IoT “will thrive on mid-band and millimetre wave spectrum, which is where we are focused for growth.”
Palmer also appeared to fire a shot at T-Mobile US regarding the auction, noting: “One competitor spent $8 billion for 600MHz spectrum to finally acquire a national low-band spectrum position.”
“They need it, desperately.”
In contrast, Verizon “had the largest national LTE-Advanced footprint on 700MHz spectrum for seven years, and it keeps getting better,” Palmer explained. The chief network officer added 600MHz will only be used in the US, and will take time to “figure out and deploy widely, especially in busy urban locations.”
T-Mobile recently agreed to pay $7.99 billion for around 45 per cent of the licences available in the incentive auction, which raised a total of $19.8 billion. In addition to T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T were also outbid by Dish Networks, Comcast and US Cellular in the sale.
In its recent earnings call, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said the company aims to begin utilising 10MHz of the 600MHz spectrum during 2017. He addressed concerns over a lack of compatible equipment by noting Ericsson and Nokia “have already announced radio equipment availability, and Qualcomm has announced chipsets.”