Verizon Will Launch Attacks Outside its Fixed Network Footprint with 5G Fixed Wireless

Verizon’s plans to launch fixed wireless using its pre-5G network in 2018 have been positioned by some as a new challenge to cable TV operators. While that certainly is true, the equally-notable development is that Verizon seems to be building its fixed wireless networks in three to five markets outside its existing fixed network footprint.

That means Verizon also will compete head to head with AT&T and possibly other fixed network operators as well.

Recall that, since about the mid-1980s, when the AT&T monopoly was broken up, the new fixed network businesses did not compete with each other, but had exclusive territories. While mobile operators mostly have competed directly, head to head, for most of the industry’s existence, direct head to head competition between AT&T and Verizon has been marginal to non-existent.

Now, for the first time, it appears that Verizon is about to launch a relatively significant assault “out of territory” with its 5G-based fixed wireless network.

It is not yet clear whose market share Verizon will take. But Verizon’s market entry is sure to rearrange and disrupt existing market share in those markets, with AT&T (or other incumbents) and the local cable operator likely to lose share.

As we have seen so many times, “high prices” in any competitive market are a magnet for new competitors.

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