Los Angeles is the second city announced by Verizon that will receive millimeter wave fixed wireless access (FWA) services this year. Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO, casually announced LA in an interview with CNBC, saying “we’re locking in on four” cities this year and plan to “launch by fourth quarter.” Four is within the range of three to five cities that Verizon previously announced.
Hans Vestberg Q&A
A day before McAdam’s announcement of LA, Hans Vestberg, Verizon’s chief technology officer, was a featured executive at the MoffettNathanson 5th Annual Media & Communications Summit investor conference.
Before joining Verizon, Vestberg was the CEO of Ericsson.
In an informative and often entertaining back and forth Q&A with Craig Moffett, Vestberg said Verizon is building a 5G network — not a FWA network — with FWA one of the services the network will support. Listen to his description:
Moffett said Verizon is more bullish than its peers about the performance of the millimeter wave spectrum — noting the company’s claim of achieving 1,900 to 2,000 foot radii for cell sites — and probed how Verizon is achieving this performance. While Vestberg didn’t provide much insight, other than experience, he confirmed Verizon’s bullish view. Listen to Moffett’s question and Vestberg’s response:
Vestberg said Verizon’s initial FWA deployment will use the company’s proprietary 5G standard, converting to the 3GPP 5G NR standard as soon as it is finalized.
“As soon as the NR technology is coming out, we also will have that in the network in order to have 5G mobility at the same time,” he said. Listen to his full comments:
Let’s hope the technology works as well as Verizon claims and customer adoption meets the expectations of the business model. It will be the beginning of a “golden age” for millimeter wave.