Verizon® is positioned fine to compete with AT&T®-FirstNet® in the public safety broadband market and to start offering 5G services in 2019 and 2020, as per Ronan Dunne, Verizon Wireless’ Executive VP and President.
“We have the wherewithal to compete with FirstNet® today,” Dunne said during the 2019 Global TMT West Conference. “We have over a 400,000-square-mile advantage over our nearest competitor. So, if you’re a first responder looking for coverage wherever [the first responder needs] it, I’m already delivering that.”
He added, “We have the capabilities within our network to give them the dedicated private network, to give them the interoperability—all of the tools that first responders need. So, specifically to first responders, I feel very confident about our ability to … continue to meet the reputation that we’ve built with those [first responders].”
Ronan Dunne reiterated his pride in Verizon’s network performance as well as the prospects of 5G offerings of the wireless provider, which have been tested in four markets until now, leveraging the mmWave spectrum of it for the first time.
He said, “The performance of the product is higher than anticipated. We advertised a 300 MB/s product, and most of our customers are seeing closer to a gig than to 300 meg. Again, we’re only using today only 400 MHz of the 1,000 MHz of spectrum that we have in the millimeter-wave [band]. So, we’re only using 40% of the spectrum, and we’re seeing really, really strong performance.”
The fastest internet provider is giving fixed 5G residential services during these tests, but Dunne noted such offerings are regarded as “an incremental opportunity” which is right away available while it builds a 5G network. He said that the tests are especially important since 5G’s use of beamforming technology over mmWave airwaves is unprecedented.
“We’re learning very, very quickly that there are no propagation maps for 5G or propagation tools, because there literally isn’t any out there,” Dunne added. “So literally, as we build it and deploy it, we are building the tools and the mapping to understand how you build a 5G coverage-map propagation map and the tools to help us. So, every week, our ability to identify the signal strength [and] the location for the nodes is improving. That’s reducing our false positives. It’s also reducing our deployment time.”
Motorola® will offer the first device to support the 5G service through a modem modification, whereas Samsung® will offer the first entirely 5G handset later in 2019. Dunne said that Verizon® would provide more 5G device details in the “not-too-distant future”.
He said that irrespective of the device used, 5G’s impact will be massive during the subsequent several years. “5G is not an upgrade; 5G is a fundamental, transformational capability. We are on the cusp of the fourth Industrial Revolution,” Dunne said. “We will look back in 10 years’ time and realize everything has changed and changed utterly. How it plays out over that first 10 years is anyone’s bet. I guarantee you, in 10 years’ time, everyone will say we underestimated how big this was.”