Verizon is increasing the number of cities where it offers 5G fixed wireless for business customers this month from three to 24.
Previously, the fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G service was only available in select parts of Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. The new additions include parts of 21 cities where its 5G Ultra Wideband service using mmWave spectrum is available.
Verizon offers three business speed tiers including 100, 200 and 400 Mbps, with respective $69, $99, and $199 per month base fee pricing.
The carrier is also touting a 10-year price lock-in until 2031 for new small and medium business and enterprise customers, with no long-term contract and no data limits. Verizon already has an LTE Business Internet service as well, where 5G isn’t available.
The 5G FWA service is positioned it as an alternative to cable and Verizon says 5G Ultra Wideband can help run point of sales systems and employee devices, for example. Professional installation is included.
FWA for business follows consumer focus
Fixed wireless access has been getting some spotlight from carriers, with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon all offering a form of FWA for home broadband.
But now business appears to be getting its share of FWA love.
Kathryn Weldon, technology research director at Global Data, told Fierce that it does seem like AT&T and Verizon are pushing FWA for business a lot these days, both for 4G and 5G.
“Last year FWA was all about consumer broadband but this year there are a lot of enterprise focused announcements,” she said.
For example, just last month AT&T started making its fixed wireless 5G+ service available to business customers, introducing new routers from Sierra Wireless and Cradlepoint. Verizon also put enterprise in focus, and last year stated plans to deliver 5G FWA at some Walgreens locations as part of a major Network as a Service (NaaS) deal with Walgreens Boot Alliance.
Weldon also suggested the carriers might be “making sure T-Mo doesn’t get ahead of them with its 5G mobile-first offering to support work from home scenarios.”
T-Mobile’s three “WFX” offerings, introduced in early March, include an Enterprise Unlimited plan and T-Mobile Home Office Internet. The latter is a fixed wireless service starting at $90 per month, while Enterprise combined with T-Mobile Collaborate mobile-first, cloud-based business tools start at $37 per line per month. The move comes amid the companies continued shift to hybrid and work-from-home models that were fueled by the pandemic.
Weldon thinks that FWA for business is definitely a likely follow-on to Verizon’s consumer broadband attention. “Especially due to work form home/work form anywhere focus this year,” she noted.
Verizon’s 5G FWA for businesses mirrors cities where it already has 5G mobility and fixed wireless 5G Home broadband service (parts of 28 markets) up and running. Additional business locations will be announced on a rolling basis. Verizon also offers 5G mobility and mobile edge compute capabilities for business, as well as its BlueJeans video-collaboration platform.
On April 22 businesses in parts of Riverside-Corona, California, can tap the 5G FWA service. Here are the cities where Verizon’s 5G Business is available today: Anaheim, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City (MO), Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, St. Louis, and St. Paul.