Due to their reliance on ultra-high or ultra-low band spectrum depending on the carrier and type of 5G technology being deployed, approaches to 5G can be vastly different. Verizon's 5G plan is multi-pronged, and part of that plan has always been "fixed" 5G, or stationary access points meant to service a select small territory, such as a certain building, campus, or city block. Fixed 5G technology has some place in the plans of just about everybody wanting to break into the 5G space, but according to Verizon CFO Fran Shammo, Big Red has special plans for the technology. Namely, they're hoping to use it not only to expand their 5G wireless network, but to compete with traditional broadband solutions.
Taking the stage at a Goldman-Sachs investor conference, Shammo made Verizon's 5G plans perfectly clear, and let everybody there know that they were planning on hitting the 5G scene early, and in a big way. While Shammo was reluctant to talk about the "marketing capability" of 5G technology and the number of different industries it could possibly disrupt, he did make it known in no uncertain terms that Verizon is going all-in with 5G, and they're going to do it sooner than anybody else. Shammo spoke pointedly about competitors' 5G aspirations, knocking the notion that 5G is an affair best saved for a few years down the road, despite an official standard not being defined just yet.
While Shammo did not elaborate much on Verizon's desires to compete in the traditional broadband market using fixed 5G, he did say flatly that the reason competitors are putting their 5G plans so far into the future is because their spectrum portfolios simply don't allow them to get 5G off the ground as quickly as Verizon can. Verizon's sizable portfolio of high-band spectrum could indeed help Big Red's aspirations to roll out the technology by 2017, but T-Mobile's CTO Neville Ray previously slammed this strategy, implying that once the standard was out and others had time to build out their networks, Verizon would be left in the dust, much like Sprint was when they were marketing WiMax to consumers who were starting to see 4G LTE pop up on other carriers. Between Ray and T-Mobile CEO John Legere, things even got a bit inflammatory, with the duo insinuating that Verizon's rush for 5G deployment was a band-aid for the fact that their network is stressed to the breaking point. It remains to be seen just how well Verizon's network will stack up at that point, or if they will be able to get 5G off the ground in 2017 at all, but Shammo seemed quite confident that they'll have no issues.