mmWave 5G: Verizon Sets Goal of 30,000 Sites by 2022

The outside of a Verizon store.

Verizon did not offer 5G to its customers in 2020, that is until it did. Bursting onto the scene after nationwide 5G networks from AT&T and T-Mobile were released to the delight of consumers, Verizon announced that it was finally unleashing its nationwide 5G network as part of its surprise cameo during Apple’s iPhone 12 event in the fall of 2020. The company took strong steps towards ambitious goals in 2020 making their dream of covering 60 cities by the end of last year a reality (they actually were able to build out in 61 cities).

But having over 230 million people within the reach of their 5G network is just the beginning. In 2021, Verizon has huge plans to follow up on what they have already accomplished and almost double the amount of 5G sites they currently have by adding 14,000 sites this year to bring their total to 30,000. While each major mobile provider has released their 5G networks throughout the United States, each provider has taken their own strategy to deliver their 5G network. Verizon is looking to double down on its method with this expansion.

Because 5G can be sent across three main bands of spectrum, low-band, mid-band, and high-band (mmWave), companies have options as to how their 5G networks will send signals to their subscribers. This is particularly true in the early stages of 5G as companies lack mature 5G networks incapable of transmitting multiple bands of spectrum for a more comprehensive experience. Verizon has chosen to begin with mmWave spectrum in the early stages of its nationwide 5G network.

Known as Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband (5G UW) network, the largest carrier in terms of 5G devices is going after speed first and foremost. Each band delivers a different bout of strengths and weaknesses for 5G in terms of coverage and speed. The higher the band, the faster the speed but the smaller the coverage area and vice versa. mmWave spectrum is capable of delivering the 5G features that consumers are looking for but require a considerable amount of infrastructure to make these features into a reality. This is why Verizon’s decision to double its 5G sites is so paramount. Verizon needs to expand if it is going to be capable of bringing the speeds they promise to more customers around the country.

These new sites could be new testing sites in new markets, an increase within current markets, but are likely a mixture, however, the specifics are still unknown at this time. There are five interesting goals Verizon are undertaking in 2021 including:

  1. 14,000 new 5G UW sites for a total of 30,000 by the end of the year.
  2. 20 5G UW cities added.
  3. 20 or more 5G Home cities.
  4. 10 or more 5G public MEC centers.
  5. Scalable 5G private networks and MEC with demand.

Wasting no time, some residents in Houston, Texas have already found equipment that will be used for these lofty plans of expansion in their yards. Verizon will need to expand as fast as possible as it now has to support even more subscribers across its 5G UW network. The wireless provider announced that now prepaid subscribers were capable of receiving the 5G experience as well.

Source: The Verge