Following weeks of recovery efforts to restore service to hard-hit regions of the Florida Panhandle affected by Hurricane Michael earlier this month, Verizon has added Panama City, Fla., to its lineup of initial 5G markets.
In a release this week, the operator said that efforts are ongoing “to further stabilize and strengthen our wireless network in Panama City, throughout Bay and Gulf Counties, and across the Panhandle,” which was hit by a category 4 hurricane that made landfall Oct. 10.
Panama City joins Verizon’s other launch markets of Los Angeles, Houston, Indianapolis and Sacramento.
“As the community rebuilds, Verizon will be your strong partner,” Verizon’s technology leader Kyle Malady said in a statement. “That’s why we’re committing $25 million to build the most technologically advanced wireless network in the area. We will include 5G technology as part of that infrastructure.”
The network technology investment in Panama City will largely be spent in 2019, according to Malady.
Verizon first launched its fixed wireless 5G in-home broadband service Oct. 1, with the operator saying customers could expect average speeds of 300 Mbps and peak speeds of nearly 1 Gbps. Verizon has said it intends to rollout standards-based 5G mobile service in 2019.
AT&T executives, meanwhile, said Wednesday that the operator will launch mobile 5G services in the coming weeks.
Verizon earlier this week reported third-quarter earnings, with 515,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 295,000 net phone additions, 510,000 postpaid smartphone net additions, 300,000 other connected device additions, and tablet losses of 80,000.
Total retail postpaid churn was 1.04 percent, compared to 0.97 percent a year ago, and Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said postpaid phone churn is expected increase through the fourth quarter because of the holiday season.
Verizon’s total wireless revenues increased 6.5 percent year over year to $23 billion, with overall revenue up 2.8 percent from a year ago to $32.6 billion.