Verizon turns to Apple, Google for 5G video

15 AUG 2018

Verizon revealed it will offer YouTube TV and Apple TV 4K as part of a residential broadband package which will be made available once its 5G service launches later this year.

It also tapped Indianapolis, Indiana as its final 5G launch target. The city joins Houston, Texas; and Sacramento and Los Angeles, California as one of four markets where Verizon plans to launch 5G fixed wireless access service in 2018.

At least 50 residential markets are expected to follow in 2019.

The initial 5G launches will be based on the operator’s proprietary 5G Technology Forum specification. Verizon is expected to launch mobile 5G in the first quarter of 2019, using official 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standards.

Partnerships
In a statement, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said 5G is poised to disrupt the entertainment industry, adding the operator is gearing up to provide consumers with a selection of “the best content and the best partners”.

YouTube TV will provide access to 60 channels of live TV, including popular domestic cable networks, along with cloud DVR capabilities. Apple TV will offer movies and TV shows from a variety of apps including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

Verizon didn’t reveal pricing or package details for its 5G service. However, a representative told Mobile World Live customers will get to choose a content provider when they sign up for the residential broadband service.

It remains to be seen whether the operator, which has streaming partnerships with US football and basketball leagues, will include live sports content with the broadband package.

The move to partner with outside content providers will help fill a hole left by Verizon’s decision to shutter its own content platform, go90 earlier this year, and is consistent with its stated plan to focus on content distribution rather than ownership.

During a Q2 earnings call, former CEO Lowell McAdam said: “We’re not going to be competing with other content providers. We’re going to be their best partner from a distribution perspective.”

Author

Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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