Verizon detailed plans to enhance its 5G services by employing 200MHz of C-Band spectrum, seeking to maintain momentum after deploying services on 100MHz, while separately detailing progress in a network virtualisation project.

A representative told Mobile World Live (MWL) the software on Verizon’s existing network equipment can be upgraded to handle the 200MHz move and the operator plans to light the service soon.

Verizon launched 5G on 60MHz of spectrum in its first 46 markets, but is seeking to maximise its capacity.

In a statement, SVP of technology and planning Adam Koeppe explained the 200MHz boosts the speed and efficiency of data traffic.

Verizon spent close to $53 billion on C-Band licences in the 140MHz to 200MHz range in an auction in 2021 and agreed deals with satellite service providers regarding early access to some of the spectrum.

The operator holds a total of 2,035MHz of spectrum with 294MHz in sub-6GHz bands, which includes low- and mid-band, and 1,741MHz of mmWave, or high band, spectrum.

Verizon separately revealed it had installed more than 8,000 virtualised RAN (vRAN) sites as part of a goal of deploying in excess of 20,000 by end-2025.

AvidThink analyst Roy Chua told MWL Verizon’s continued commitment to vRAN means it is “seeing enough value as a brownfield MNO”, while also recognising moves by other big-name mobile operators along with “greenfield MNOs like Rakuten Mobile” and Dish Network indicates the approach “is likely the path forward”.