This morning, Verizon released their earnings for Q2 2015, and added a little over 1.1 million postpaid customers. Largely thanks to tablets. During their conference call this morning, Verizon’s CFO, Fran Shammo was asked about the upcoming spectrum auction. Shammo stated that “The need for low-band spectrum for us is not a great need.” Which is actually completely true. Verizon has lots of l0w-band spectrum. It’s actually one of the reasons that they have such a great network.
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It’s also important to note that the FCC have delayed the vote for the rules on the incentive auction for next year. The vote will not take place in early August. T-Mobile, Sprint and many of the smaller regional carriers have been petitioning the FCC to make the rules a bit more fair for the smaller carriers. Seeing as this is the last auction for low-band spectrum for at least the next ten years, the smaller carriers are pulling out all the stops here. Meanwhile, Verizon has not committed to this auction just yet. And it appears that they may not commit to it at all.
Shammo stated that they are focused on Small Cells. Verizon feels that they are in a great position right now with their spectrum. And actually only about 40% of their spectrum portfolio is used for LTE data right now. That’s mainly their 700MHz and AWS-1 spectrum. Shammo noted that Verizon has “plenty of capacity”. The company has even started to refarm some of its 1900MHz spectrum from 3G to LTE in a few markets. Which will also provide more capacity for users in those markets.
Verizon has been deploying small cells throughout the US since the AWS-3 auction ended earlier this year. Right now, they are working on a small cell deployment in Chicago and New York City, two of the more dense cities in the country. Small Cells are basically mini cell towers that can be placed on light poles and utility poles, and extend coverage as well as bandwidth. They are typically used in dense areas, including malls, arenas, and downtown areas. It’s a great cost-effective way to provide more bandwidth for their network, without having to build or lease more towers.