It’s not all about C-band spectrum – at least, not yet. Verizon is still rolling out millimeter wave (mmWave) in select areas, which it pitches as “5G Ultra Wideband” to consumers.
The latest cities to get this mobility service are Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Athens, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; and Fremont, California.
That means Verizon’s Ultra Wideband is now available in parts of 82 cities, according to the carrier. At the same time, Verizon said its fixed 5G Home service is now available in five more cities, which include the aforementioned Orlando and Fremont, as well as the Florida cities of Pensacola and Sarasota and New York’s Niagara Falls. That makes Verizon’s 5G Home service now available in parts of 57 cities.
“Our continued investment in 5G Ultra Wideband means that more people than ever can experience unmatched speed on phones and a home broadband alternative that is transforming the market,” said Verizon CTO Kyle Malady in a statement. “We will continue our aggressive push into even more places.”
Verizon said customers in these four new 5G Ultra Wideband markets will be able to get ultra-fast wireless speeds, so they can download and stream movies and TV shows in a matter of seconds. Gamers who want to use it for console gaming on the go will get a better experience as well.
Typical download speeds are 300 Mbps and typical upload speeds are 50 Mbps, with maximum download speeds up to 1 Gbps.
While these download speeds are great using mmWave spectrum, Verizon gets a lot of its 5G coverage claims though the use of dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), which uses lower band spectrum. The DSS markets produce speeds more akin to 4G, so there’s not a lot more bang for the buck there. Therefore, Verizon is setting its sights on the 3.7 mid-band spectrum acquired through the C-band auction.
RELATED: Verizon defends C-band plans
Verizon spent a whopping $45 billion + on spectrum in the C-band auction, which set records for the amount of bids carriers were willing to plunk down for the mid-band spectrum previously occupied by satellite companies. As those satellite players vacate the spectrum, Verizon is getting access to that vertical 3.7 GHz real estate toward the end of this year. (Chances are good the next iPhone, set for launch next week, will support the C-band, similar to iPhone 12.) It will put Verizon in a better position to compete with T-Mobile’s 2.5 GHz deployment, although T-Mobile is still going to enjoy a healthy head start on mid-band spectrum for 5G.
Market by market
When Verizon launches the C-band spectrum, that will allow it to expand its 5G Home offerings as well. Right now, the 5G Home markets use mmWave spectrum. (No word on whether the new mid-band markets will be lumped under the Ultra Wideband service moniker.)
Not all of the Ultra Wideband service launches coincide with 5G Home Internet launches. For example, Verizon launched 5G mobility service in Niagara several months ago, but it’s just now adding its 5G Home offering to that market.
Last month, Verizon announced it was offering its 5G Ultra Wideband service to customers in Austin, Texas, and Gresham, Oregon. That was also when it announced that customers in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Nashville, Tennessee, were getting access to the Verizon 5G Home service.