Verizon said that its 5G in-home, fixed wireless customers will be able to choose between a free Apple TV 4K device or a period of free YouTube TV service. The carrier also confirmed its fourth and final launch market, announcing that it will launch its fixed 5G service in Indianapolis later this year, as well as in previously announced markets Sacramento, Los Angeles and Houston.
The news essentially confirms rumors that Verizon would lean on Apple and Google for a video service to complement its fixed wireless internet service.
Although a Verizon representative confirmed that Verizon’s fixed 5G users would be able to choose between either a free Apple TV device or a free, limited-time subscription to Google’s YouTube TV app for a live television service, details were vague. The representative did not answer questions about the offer, including how long customers might receive YouTube TV and how long they might need to subscribe to the service in order to qualify for a free Apple TV device.
Moreover, Bloomberg reported that Verizon’s 5G subscribers will also be able to get live NFL and NBA games through Verizon’s Oath media division, though the Verizon representative didn’t immediately respond to questions on that topic.
Nonetheless, Verizon’s announcement essentially removes some of the questions that have hung over its fixed 5G launch plans. Verizon executives have previously promised that the service could ultimately be expanded to cover 30 million households with speeds reaching 1 Gbps. Verizon executives have also made it clear that fixed services—delivered to homes, offices and other permanent locations—are just one application of 5G technology, and that the operator plans to launch mobile 5G services roughly six months after it launches fixed services.
Importantly, a fixed 5G service will allow Verizon to expand its internet services into locations where its fiber connections may not yet reach. Indeed, a number of other companies including AT&T, C Spire and Windstream using deploying wireless technologies to deploy fixed internet services to new locations, primarily in rural areas.
Outstanding questions remain though, including how much Verizon might charge for its fixed 5G service.
Interestingly, Verizon initially developed its own standard for its fixed wireless efforts, dubbed 5GTF. However, the carrier has said it that expects to quickly move to the 3GPP’s official 5G standard shortly after its launch later this year.