Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg (pictured) faced down criticism from rivals about the limited coverage offered by its fledgling 5G network, noting it had doubled its footprint in some cities since launch.
Speaking on its Q2 earnings call, Vestberg said “the development we’re doing on the 5G technology is actually extremely fast compared to what I saw in 4G”. While initial work focused on ensuring the 5G technology functioned properly, he said the company is now moving to expand its operations.
Verizon launched mobile 5G in two cities in April. It now offers next generation service in a total of nine markets, earlier this week adding Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, DC to the roster as it works to cover 30 markets by the end of 2019.
Analysts raised concerns Verizon might be vulnerable to rivals with more robust and diverse spectrum portfolios. However, Vestberg reiterated the operator believes its existing assets can deliver the right mix of coverage and capacity, particularly when paired with technologies such as dynamic spectrum sharing, which allows users to maintain simultaneous connections with 4G and 5G networks.
Verizon remains on track to deploy the technology in the first half of 2020, he said.
He added the company continues to deploy its own fibre network in 60 markets, which he said is an “essential” part of its 5G plan. For now, Vestberg said the fibre is mainly feeding Verizon’s small cell sites, but the company eventually plans to offer access to wholesale and enterprise customers as well.
Verizon added 245,000 phone customers in the quarter, up from 199,000 in Q2 2018. However, it lost 213,000 prepaid subscribers in the same period.
Net profit of $4.1 billion dipped slightly from $4.25 billion in Q2 2018, on revenue of $32.1 billion, down less than 1 per cent from $32.2 billion.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back