Earlier this week, I posted a link to an article in The Verge, which argued — thanks to T-Mobile’s combative CEO John Legere — that Verizon lacks dedicated sub-6 GHz spectrum for 5G.
T-Mobile won 600 MHz spectrum in the FCC’s Broadcast Incentive Auction, AT&T gained 700 MHz with the FirstNet contract and Sprint has always had 2.5 GHz. Legere’s point is a bit disingenuous, however, as all three carriers are currently using those bands for LTE, just as Verizon is using its cellular bands for LTE.
During this week’s earnings call, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg talked about Verizon’s sub-6 GHz spectrum plans, saying Verizon will use dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) to host 5G and 4G on the same spectrum. DSS, developed by Ericsson, is implemented in software and part of Release 15 of the 3GPP New Radio (NR) specification. (Read about the development of DSS in this Ericsson blog post.)
With DSS, Verizon’s low band spectrum is available for 5G. Vestberg made two points about the timing of using it: the number of handsets with DSS capability and wanting the 5G experience to be differentiated from existing 4G service. Verizon wants 5G to be “transformative.”
”We want to do a transformative feeling of what 5G is. We don't want to rebrand them and say it's 5G, and you don't feel the difference. We already have the best 4G network.” — Hans Vestberg
Listen to Vestberg’s response to a question from analyst Craig Moffett, of MoffettNathanson LLC, during the earnings call on August 1.
Four More Cities with Mobile, mmWave 5G
On Wednesday (July 31), Verizon announced its mobile, mmWave 5G service is available in parts of Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington DC. Consumers with 5G handsets can access what Verizon calls its “5G Ultra Wideband” network. These four cities join Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Providence and St. Paul.