Verizon to double 5G Home speeds in 6 months

In his presentation, Verizon's Bill Stone said that the operator's 5G Home service currently uses 400 MHz channels and will expand that to 800 MHz channels. (Verizon)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Verizon plans to double the speeds available through its 5G Home service in the next six months.

Verizon plans to double the speeds available through its 5G Home service in the next six months, the company’s VP of technology development and planning said during a presentation here at the SCWS Americas show.

Verizon’s Bill Stone explained that Verizon currently runs its 5G Home service in its 28 GHz licensed spectrum in 400 MHz channels. But he said the carrier has the ability to increase that spectrum allotment to 600 MHz and 800 MHz channels (Verizon owns huge amounts of millimeter-wave spectrum via its purchases of XO and Straight Path). Stone explained that expanding the service’s spectrum channels would both increase user speeds and increase Verizon's network capacity.

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And he said that, in the next six months, Verizon will essentially double its 5G Home channel configurations from 400 MHz to 800 MHz, and that the speeds and capacity available through the service would double as a result.

Verizon currently promises that customers of its 5G Home service will receive download speeds of around 300 Mbps. However, the carrier has said that speeds can range up to 1 Gbps depending on customers’ location in relation to the towers for the service. The carrier currently charges customers $70 per month for 5G Home services, or $50 per month for customers who also subscribe to the carrier’s mobile services.

“The peak data rates here in millimeter-wave will definitely increase,” Stone said.

But the introduction of 800 MHz channels isn’t the only change Verizon is contemplating for its 5G Home service. Both Stone and Ronan Dunne, chief of Verizon’s consumer business, said at separate events this week that the operator is eventually planning to offer a self-installation option to customers who sign up for the carrier’s 5G Home service.

When Verizon initially launched its 5G Home service in October, it boasted that the necessary receivers and modems would be installed by Verizon technicians with “white glove” service. That was notable considering Verizon executives had previously hinted that customers might be able to install their own receivers—thus saving Verizon the expense of sending technicians to customers’ homes.

However, Dunne explained that the operator continues to work to reduce the amount of time that technicians must spend installing its 5G Home service in customers’ homes. Further, he said that, eventually, Verizon would offer a self-installation option for its 5G Home service.

Stone offered similar comments on the self installation option: “Over time the goal is to introduce the ability to drop ship equipment that the customer can install on their own,” Stone said, without providing a timeline for such a move.

Both Verizon’s Dunne and Stone offered a number of notable insights into Verizon’s 5G Home service this week during their respective public appearances, including:

  • 50% of Verizon’s 5G Home customers do not subscribe to the operator’s mobile service.
  • Verizon won’t build any more locations with its 5GTF equipment, and will instead wait for 3GPP equipment to become available before expanding to additional neighborhoods and cities.
  • The service can transmit 1 Gbps speeds up to 3,000 feet.
  • The millimeter-wave service works in conditions including rain, snow and non-line-of-sight scenarios. Indeed, Stone said some transmissions work better in non-line-of-sight scenarios than when customers are within sight of the tower, due to the fact that millimeter-wave transmissions can reflect off various objects in order to reach their intended destination.
  • Verizon’s 5G Home customers are switching to the carrier from a variety of other service providers, though Verizon’s Dunne didn’t provide details.
  • Verizon ultimately expects to expand 5G Home to 30 million households at some unspecified time in the future, though Dunne said the carrier may revisit that figure as the company’s rollout progresses.
  • 5G Home is one of many services Verizon plans to offer via 5G network technology.
  • Dunne hinted that Verizon could also expand into other businesses related to home internet, such as home automation, as it expands its 5G Home offering.
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