On Friday, John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, called Verizon "no idea" and "dead in the water without a strategy" for 5G. Now Verizon says it has a 5G strategy – it just doesn't share exactly what that strategy is.
Legere claimed that Verizon lacked a plan to expand 5G beyond major cities because the carrier seemed to rely entirely on millimeter wave, a type of radio wave that can deliver very high speeds, but only over short distances. Verizon's advertisements and public commentaries were strongly focused on millimeter-wave implementation, but the company is now telling it The edge that his 5G plans go further than extending 5G to the rest of the US.
Verizon will implement a & # 39; multi-spectrum strategy & # 39; said, Heidi Hemmer, Verizon & # 39; s VP of network and technology that focuses on 5G implementation. The remark seems to indicate that Verizon will also use its lower-spectrum companies for 5G. Wireless providers regularly take spectrum that is used for older technologies – such as 2G or 3G – and update it for use with newer technologies – such as 4G and now 5G.
But Hemmer refused to share what specific parts of spectrum Verizon would use for 5G, saying that silence gave the company a & # 39; competitive advantage & # 39; offered. So although the company says its strategy is not just limited to millimeter wave, as Legere said, we & # 39; I am still not sure what else is involved. The answer is important because it could determine how fast and far-reaching (and expensive) the 5G implementation of Verizon is.
Hemmer says that Verizon will eventually reuse the already deployed spectrum for 5G, but she has not promised to be part of the courier's initial deployment plans. "We will use every spectrum band that we currently own at some point in the future," Hemmer said.
Verizon apparently does not want to immediately reassign the spectrum it uses for LTE, because almost every customer in its network still uses it. "We don't want to take a spectrum away from bread and butter customers," Hemmer said.
There have been many questions about how 5G implementation will work because the most mortgaged element – millimeter wave – is really only useful in densely populated urban areas where many people can take advantage of the short distance. Verizon has acknowledged in the past that not everyone will fall under the millimeter wave, and Hemmer reaffirmed that, saying that it is not part of the "national deployment plans" of the courier.
AT&T and T-Mobile have made it clear that they will use low-band spectrum – the kind they already use for LTE – to reach suburban and rural customers with 5G. T-Mobile has also boasted about how it will use Sprint & # 39; s middle band spectrum (which is faster than what is used for LTE, but slower than millimeter wave) to also use this once the merger is closed.
Verizon needs a kind of solution to deliver 5G to people outside of cities. For now, we only know that it won't be a millimeter wave – at least not everywhere. Whatever the solution, Hemmer said, it won't be slower than the fast 5G implementations that are already live in a small number of cities. "The speed we get will be the speed we see now," Hemmer said.