There was more evidence of Verizon’s plan to deploy fixed wireless rather widely in its network during the firm’s second quarter 2016 earnings call. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam spoke about a number of interrelated technologies supporting its coming networks.
Millimeter wave radio, small cells, fixed wireless and optical fiber backhaul were among those trends.
“I think of 5G initially as, in effect, wireless fiber, which is wireless technology that can provide an enhanced broadband experience that could only previously be delivered with physical fiber to the customer,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon Communications CEO, during the firm’s second quarter 2016 earnings call. “With wireless fiber the so called last mile can be a virtual connection, dramatically changing our cost structure.”
In fact, Verizon’s decision to deploy FiOS in Boston is based on creation of a single fiber optic network platform capable of supporting wireless and wireline technologies.
“Our announced agreement to acquire XO Communications will also be a key part of this strategy, providing us with the deep fiber assets, including 40 metro fiber rings in major cities and millimeter wave spectrum in a significant part of the country that will give us a critical competitive edge,” said McAdam.
The XO deal also supplies a good amount of millimeter wave spectrum.
McAdam also illustrated Verizon’s use of network architecture--rather than acquiring new spectrum--to increase capacity. “The farther we push fiber out into the network, the more small cell technology works for us,” he said.
“The cost trade off that we expected prior to the last auction told us that we would be better off going with the small cells,” he noted.
“And then as we densify the network for 4G, it sets us up perfectly for deploying 5G with the millimeter wave technology,” McAdam added. “Now we have a clear field in front of us to not only densify with 4G, but use that same capital dollar to get the infrastructure in place for 5G. So we think we're in a very strong competitive position here.”
Verizon is not the first telecom company to tout a wireless platform as a substitute for fiber. But it might emerge as one of the most influential and widespread users of fixed wireless technology.
That is among the reasons the business implications of millimeter wave platforms and fixed wireless will be featured at the upcoming Oct. 20-21, 2016 Spectrum Futures conference in Singapore.
Reza Arefi of Intel will talk about the business implications of millimeter wave spectrum at Spectrum Futures.
At the conference, Greg Leon, Google fixed wireless product manager, will explain the role Google now sees for fixed wireless as a complement or substitute for fiber to the home.
Rajnesh Singh, Internet Society, Director, Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau, will explore the role of fixed wireless to serve rural villages in India.
Chris Weasler, Facebook, Director of Global Connectivity, likely also will talk about new platforms for fixed wireless Internet access.