Verizon CFO Fran Shammo on Thursday doubled down on statements made last month asserting the carrier plans to beat the competition to the deployment of 5G services.
“We are committed to being the first U.S. company to roll out 5G wireless technology,” Shammo said. “We will evolve this 5G ecosystem rapidly just like we did with LTE to ensure an aggressive pace of innovation.”
Shammo said Verizon is already at work on sandbox test beds and is collaborating with the 5G Technology Forum – which includes major handset vendors – to move forward as quickly as possible. Shammo also said Verizon is working with the FCC to free up spectrum above 24 GHz for 5G.
According to Shammo, Verizon will conduct 5G tests throughout this year and is on track to deploy a fixed wireless pilot in 2017.
“It’s really not about mobile, it’s really around fixed wireless,” Shammo said.
Shammo said 5G will not be a replacement technology for 4G and thus will not be a capital intense overlay of the existing network.
Shammo said 5G will allow for more efficient delivery of video over the wireless network, and will in turn provide cost savings akin to those that were seen with the roll out of LTE.
“It really is all about high speed video delivery over a wireless network in a very, very efficient way,” Shammo said. “You should think about 5G, again like we did with LTE where you see those four to five incremental cost decreases when delivering that video, that’s similar to what we will see in the 5G environment.”