US mobile giant Verizon has shared new details regarding its future 5G rollout plans, which will involve a whopping USD10 billion worth of capital expenditure over the next three years, as it seeks to deploy its newly acquired C-band (3.7GHz-3.98GHz) frequencies. Verizon notes that the initial C-band buildouts will utilise its existing infrastructure and the operator expects to have 7,000-8,000 C-band equipped cell sites in service by end-2021. Verizon says it more than doubled its existing mid-band spectrum holdings by adding an average of 161MHz of C-band spectrum nationwide in the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction. In total, Verizon paid USD52.9 billion, including incentive payments and clearing costs.
Meanwhile, in terms of millimetre wave (mmWave) 5G connectivity, Verizon says it will deploy 14,000 new cell sites in 2021, giving it a total of 30,000 mmWave 5G sites by year-end. Over time, 50% of the cellco’s urban traffic is expected to be carried by its mmWave spectrum.
Finally, with reference to 5G uptake, Ronan Dunne, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, commented: ‘Customers are migrating to 5G in earnest. As of year-end 2020, 9% of our Consumer post-paid phone base were on a 5G device … Overall we have 10 million 5G Ultra Wideband devices in the hands of customers on our network today. And of those, approximately 70% are already C-band compatible. Going forward all new 5G handsets we sell to post-paid customers will be C-band compatible.’