Verizon: 5G Speeds On Low-Spectrum Bands Will Be More Like ‘Good 4G’

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: 5G won’t be much different from 4G outside dense urban areas, a Verizon executive said yesterday. The massive hype around 5G has focused on speed improvements expected on millimeter-wave spectrum, which wasn’t previously used on mobile broadband networks. But 5G on lower-spectrum bands will be like “good 4G,” Verizon Consumer Group CEO Ronan Dunne said at Oppenheimer’s annual Technology, Internet & Communications Conference (webcast link).

“While we can deploy and we will deploy a 5G nationwide offering, the lower down the spectrum tiers you go, the more that will approximate to a good 4G service,” Dunne said. “The truth is, we have a very good 4G LTE service in parts of the US where our competitors don’t. So if someone else is rushing to bring out 5G nationwide, it may be because they don’t have credible 4G LTE coverage in those areas to start with.” Dunne noted yesterday that the amount of spectrum in each band will play a huge role in determining the speeds available over 5G. The more spectrum you have, “the more of the features and capabilities of 5G that you can enable,” Dunne said yesterday.

He continued: “We want to have both a coverage strategy and a capability strategy, and a very large majority of the volume of data that we carry on our networks goes to large, dense urban environments. From a population point of view, [big cities have] significantly less than half of customers, but from a data traffic point of view, it’s significantly more than half. When it comes to the ability to use 5G as a significant capacity enhancement, there’s more of an opportunity to leverage that in urban areas.”

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