Verizon Begins Installation of C-Band Equipment in the US to Accelerate 5G Deployment

Verizon has begun installation of C-band equipment from Ericsson and Samsung Electronics to speed up the deployment of its 5G Ultra-Wideband and fixed wireless broadband service on its recently acquired C-band spectrum.

Verizon secured an average of 161 MHz of C-band spectrum nationwide in the recent FCC auction, which will allow the company to offer expanded mobility and broadband services to millions more consumers and businesses. C-band spectrum provides a valuable middle ground between capacity and coverage for 5G networks and will enable 5G Ultra-Wideband speeds and coverage for both mobility, home broadband and business internet solutions. Deploying 5G Ultra-Wideband on this spectrum requires new network equipment including basebands, radios and antennas to be placed on existing towers.

Verizon tapped Ericsson and Samsung to supply the Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment for this massive deployment. Although the initial spectrum won’t be cleared until the end of this year, Verizon and its vendor partners have already begun the work to ensure the super-fast 5G Ultra-Wideband service using C-band is deployed to 100 million customers by March 2022.

Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer at Verizon, said that they are moving fast, with cooperation from their equipment partners, to have everything in place as soon as this C-band spectrum is cleared for use. This is a massive undertaking designed to add this game-changing capability as quickly as possible to the network their customers already rely on for consistent, superior performance when they need it most.

In the first quarter of 2022, Verizon expects to put into service the new 5G C-band spectrum in the initial 46 markets and to provide 5G Ultra-Wideband service to 100 million people. Over 2022 and 2023, coverage is expected to increase to more than 175 million people and by 2024 and beyond, when the remaining C-band spectrum is cleared, more than 250 million people are expected to have access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband service on C-band spectrum.

Verizon’s spectrum bands are contiguous, which will streamline deployment across the mainland United States. Also helping to speed deployment are the recently signed and announced agreements with Verizon’s tower partners, Crown and SBA Communications, which provide for process improvements including standardizing and reducing forms and minimizing legal reviews, allowing Verizon engineering teams to expedite deployment of C-band equipment. Both agreements establish terms for leasing space on existing towers for C-band equipment.

RAN Equipment

Ericsson is partnering with Verizon to provide its industry-leading Antenna-Integrated Radio (AIR) product from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio to support Verizon’s network deployment. Ericsson’s solution leverages a superior massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) architecture offering high performance through Ericsson Uplink Booster and advanced beamforming technology to provide a better user experience. Recent C-band performance tests have demonstrated record-breaking data rates in both uplink and downlink on a single user device.

“Ericsson has the expertise and track record to deliver best-performing 5G networks globally, and we continue to push technological advancements with our long-standing partner Verizon in delivering on their 5G ambitions,” said Graham Osborne, Vice President and Head of Customer Unit Verizon, Ericsson North America.

Samsung’s Massive MIMO radios and fully virtualized RAN (vRAN) are among the first solutions the company is providing for Verizon’s C-band commercial network. To deliver optimal 5G user experiences, Samsung’s Massive MIMO radio is designed to support high-capacity and throughput, and includes field-proven advanced beamforming technology. By leveraging the two companies’ prior collaboration – on the industry’s first wide-scale commercial vRAN – Samsung’s new C-band Massive MIMO radios can be deployed faster and more efficiently via their software-driven management and commissioning in Verizon’s virtualized network architecture.

"Samsung and Verizon continue to expand our network collaboration – from delivering CDMA to introducing 5G Home and vRAN commercialization. Today, we are proud to support Verizon in their C-band deployment to further expand 5G Ultra Wideband service,” said Magnus Ojert, Senior Vice President and Head of Verizon Division, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics America. “Samsung’s C-Band and true virtualized solutions deliver the power and flexibility required to bring forward the full potential of 5G and enhance user experiences for Verizon’s customers.”