It feels like just yesterday, Verizon was waiting for the right time to “flip the switch” on its 5G network. Now, as 2020 comes to a close, the leader in 5G devices sold is announcing that a whopping 230 million people in America can access its impressive, nationwide 5G network. Using dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), Verizon was able to launch its highly anticipated 5G network in October during the annual fall Apple event connecting around 200 million users, but now an additional 30 million potential subscribers have been added in markets including central Texas, upstate New York, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and throughout New England. Over the next few years, Verizon plans to move their network from one which relies on DSS and into a standalone (SA) 5G model that does not rely on 4G LTE to help share the load.
In addition to making its 5G network more accessible to users, Verizon has also improved the range of its high-band (mmWave) 5G spectrum. 5G works on three main tiers of spectrum using low, medium, and high frequencies to deliver data. The simplified explanation for this is that the higher bands send data faster but at a shorter distance and vice versa. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service uses mmWave spectrum to bring 5G to users with the company having a goal to deliver this service to 60 cities by the end of the year. With expansions in Florida and New Mexico, more users can use this network, and now with the addition of Durham, North Carolina, Verizon has reached its goal with now 61 cities capable of enjoying the speeds of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service which utilizes 28 GHz or 39 GHz spectrum.
To improve some of the capabilities of its network, Verizon is also using carrier aggregation which combines multiple channels of spectrum and allows for a greater transfer of data at faster speeds. The wireless company is also taking advantage of the innovative approach, already seen by DISH Wireless and others as it builds out its network, of using a cloud-native containerized architecture as the backbone of its 5G network. This will help the company improve its 5G capabilities over time and do so without making major disruptions to the network to help improve user experience.
One of the ongoing factors that will play a role in how soon and how effective Verizon will be able to build out more 5G features is the current C-band auction which stands at having raised more than $23 billion already. Verizon is one of the biggest players expected to purchase spectrum after having a very dominant summer along with DISH Wireless at the CBRS auction earlier this year. The C-band spectrum will enable Samsung to provide its subscribers with mid-band spectrum, reaching faster speeds for more 5G users sooner.
Source: Fierce Wireless