Verizon's immediate plans for the fifth generation of mobile networks span much more than just a fixed wireless access service the company is planning to commercialize in the second half of the year, Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam said Tuesday following the publication of the firm's consolidated financials for the fourth quarter of 2017. The New York-based wireless carrier says it's presently developing a wide variety of technologies and exploring possibilities that go beyond an FWA service and encompass everything from a truly mobile solution to Internet of Things. Verizon's consolidated financial report mentioned its next 5G projects as part of its planned capital expenditures for 2018 which are expected to surpass $17 billion.
The largest mobile service provider in the United States remains adamant that its current course is positioning it for long-term, sustainable growth, largely due to its ongoing commitments to 5G. The next evolution of wireless networks is expected to fundamentally change the manner in which telecom companies operate, allowing them to become more directly involved in the creation of new Internet-enabled products and services instead of just providing and maintaining the infrastructure that powers them. Such increased responsibilities should also lead to higher revenues going forward, most industry analysts agree. Verizon's 5G plans remain largely undefined even though the company repeatedly stated it's looking to start deploying a truly mobile 5G service next year and offer nationwide coverage by 2020. The 5G FWA solution set to be commercialized this year will be a broadband alternative but one that's expected to only be available in a limited number of cities.
The possibility of using 5G to create new product categories is one that Verizon is understood to be exploring, with Mr. McAdam specifically mentioning Oath in the context of such efforts, saying that the carrier will be able to create synergies that its rivals will find unattainable. Even though 5G FWA is widely seen as a stopgap solution and one that Verizon may employ to densify its network while justifying it to investors as a diversification initiative, the company is ultimately seeking to provide an infrastructure that will allow for seamless transitions between fixed and mobile access, which is the main thing its customers care about, Mr. McAdam believes. Samsung was recently chosen as the supplier for Verizon's 5G FWA project.