Verizon has hit a new milestone in the rollout of its 5G Ultra Wideband, the faster side of the carrier’s 5G network. This week, Big Red announced that 200 million people are now covered by 5G, its fastest form.
Verizon’s goal was to hit 200 million people by the end of the first quarter, and they actually delivered based on today’s news. In a population of 200 million, Verizon now claims to cover nearly two out of three people in the United States.
As a reminder, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband (5G UW) is a combination of their 5G mmW and C-band technologies. 5G mmW is the short-range, super-fast gigabit-capable 5G you find in stadiums, arenas and heavily populated areas of cities. It can place numbers, but it doesn’t reach very far and often struggles to work through objects. The C-band part of 5G UW is the most important part, as it’s mid-band 5G that expands further and still offers big speed increases over their older 4G LTE networks.
Verizon didn’t say which parts of 5G UW make up for that 200 million, but the addition of C-band certainly helped boost coverage. This is a big reason they spent so much money to acquire C-band spectrum in early 2021.
And for reference, Verizon hit 175 million people by the end of 2022, so their continued push here is worth noting. I haven’t heard a new goal for them yet, but the plan for the year is to expand 5G UW to more rural and suburban areas, deploy more spectrum, and expand 5G mmW where they can.
For those who need to compare with the competition, know that in 2021 T-Mobile will hit 200 million people with their best 5G network.
Verizon guys, I have to ask – how is the network today? I think I complained about it recently, but it’s not great in Portland. I hit gigabit speeds on T-Mobile at my kid’s school and can still barely get an LTE signal on Verizon in the same location. Are you seeing better results?