When Verizon (News - Alert) came out of the recently-staged 600 MHz incentive auction with nothing to show for it but an auction paddle and a numb backside, some began to think that this might hobble Verizon's position a bit going forward. Reports suggest, though, this isn't the case, as the company's next generation communications plans are set to go forward unhindered by lack of spectrum.
During an analyst conference call to review its first-quarter results, Verizon Communications chief financial officer (CFO) Matt Ellis noted that only about half of the company's current spectrum was being put to use in keeping its LTE (News - Alert) network operational. Plus, it could not only bring in AWS-3 spectrum in, but also refarmed and unlicensed spectrum as well, giving it lots of room to operate.
The recently-concluded auction saw T-Mobile (News - Alert) go on a buying frenzy, snapping up almost every other license with 45 percent of the total and spending a combined $8 billion. Interestingly, word from Allnet Insight and analytics says that the next generation communications provider is behind the curve in spectrum availability, having only the third largest range ahead of T-Mobile, but behind both AT&T (News - Alert) and Sprint.
Ellis noted that certain advances in LTE allow for a more efficient use of available spectrum, and given that the company recently went back to an unlimited data plan, it would be easy to think it couldn't hold up under the pressure. Ellis, however, noted that certain steps had been taken to make sure the overall user experience remains stable, though didn't elaborate on what those were.
With 5G coming up, it would be easy to think the company overextended, but reports note it's about to start fixed wireless trials this month thanks in part to the 28 GHz spectrum acquired from XO Communications (News - Alert).
As a next generation communications provider, Verizon has to be ready to hold its position in the market. Losing to AT&T wouldn't be so bad—the two have been close competitors for years—but losing to T-Mobile would be a tremendous blow. Given all the advances T-Mobile has made in the market, it's clearly eager to advance itself, and both AT&T and Verizon need to advance accordingly. 5G access has been so thoroughly hyped up that anything less than a spectacular 5G launch will likely be regarded as a failure, which is something no company needs right now.
Still, Verizon seems to have feathered its connectivity nest quite well, and should be ready for the upcoming future. 5G is just under three years out now, and will likely change connectivity as we know it soon.
Edited by Alicia Young