Verizon Q1 shows solid growth, 5G uptake, Fios strength

Vestberg hails Verizon C-Band progress

21 APR 2021

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg offered further details of its C-Band deployment during an earnings call to discuss an opening quarter in which management pointed to progress in 5G uptake and strong demand for its Fios FTTH service as highlights.

The CEO revealed Verizon had now ordered around half of the equipment needed to deploy 5G services on C-Band spectrum acquired in a recent US auction. Perhaps crucially, the operator also confirmed satellite operators currently using the mid-band frequencies will begin to clear the path for mobile use from H2, he said.

Earlier this week, Verizon revealed it had begun installing radios, antennas and baseband equipment from Ericsson and Samsung, a move CTO Kyle Malady at the time explained aimed to ensure the operator was ready to roll once spectrum was cleared.

On the earnings call Craig Moffett, senior research analyst at MoffettNathanson, questioned Vestberg over whether US cable operator Comcast, which leases spectrum from Verizon to offer MVNO services, was now as much a competitor as a customer due to its aggressive pricing and family plans.

The Verizon chief noted it has a “good relationship with our MVNO partners” regarding them “as enterprise customers”.

“We feel good about our network-as-a-service strategy”, Vestberg added.

Verizon grew net income 25.4 per cent year-on-year to $5.4 billion during Q1, with operating revenue up 4 per cent to $32.9 billion.

It lost 326,000 retail post-paid customers, 225,000 of which were phone users. However, post-paid phone activations increased 14 per cent to 6.4 million, 64 per cent of which were upgrades.

The company said 14 per cent of its consumer post-paid phone customers have now adopted 5G.

Verizon also highlighted growth in its Fios home internet business, which it said posted the most quarterly net additions since 2015 with 102,000 coming on board, 98,000 of which were consumers.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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