More than ever, residential broadband is all about adding more fiber lines for Verizon, no matter whether it's for Fios or fixed 5G wireless service.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) executives made that point repeatedly Tuesday morning during the company's second-quarter earnings call. With fiber now deployed in more than 50 markets across the US, they aim to use this growing network to offer broadband service over both their existing Fios platform and the planned 5G-powered fixed wireless service.
In particular, Verizon officials believe that 5G technology will boost their residential broadband business substantially. They are now planning to launch 5G service commercially in four markets later this year, including Sacramento, Los Angeles and, in their latest designation, Houston. And all four markets will see gigabit-enabled 5G fixed wireless service for broadband users. (See Verizon Reveals Third 5G City, as Revenue Climbs 5.4% in Q2.)
"5G will give us the opportunity to be a much larger broadband provider," said incoming Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, the company's current CTO who will be taking over for outgoing CEO Lowell McAdam on Aug. 1. Without giving out any numbers, he indicated that the telco would be extending fiber to and rolling out 5G fixed-wireless service in many more markets next year.
With the pending 5G launches on the horizon, Verizon is still relying on its Fios wireline platform to stoke broadband growth for now. Along those lines, Big Red netted 43,000 Fios Internet subscribers in the second quarter, down slightly from 49,000 a year ago but still a respectable gain. As a result, Verizon ended June with nearly 6 million data customers, up 222,000 from a year ago.
All told, Verizon now has a bit less than 7 million broadband customers, down about 32,000 from a year ago as it continues to bleed copper-based DSL subs. The company shed another 53,000 DSL customers in the spring quarter, putting its total DSL sub base slightly below 1 million. Verizon remains the fourth-largest broadband provider in the US, behind Comcast, Charter and AT&T.
Zero in on the most attractive 5G NR deployment strategies, and take a look ahead to later technology developments and service innovations. Join us for the Deployment Strategies for 5G NR breakfast workshop in LA at MWCA on September 12. Register now to learn from and network with industry experts – communications service providers get in free!
On the video end of the business, Verizon continued to lose Fios subscribers because of continued cord-cutting by consumers. The company reported shedding 37,000 Fios Video subs in the second quarter, a deterioration from the 15,000 video subs it lost in the year-ago period. That leaves Verizon with a bit under 4.6 million video customers, down 106,000 from a year ago.
Also on the video front, Verizon recorded a pre-tax charge of $658 million, largely due to the shuttering of its Go90 mobile video service this month. In late June, Verizon announced that it would shut down Go90 after the nearly three-year-old service never really caught on with its mix of short-form original videos, live programming and licensed content. Go90’s operations are now being combined with Oath, the digital media service formed from the combination of AOL and Yahoo. (See Verizon's Go90 Shakes Hands With Eternity.)
In a provocative new BBWN webinar, Broadband Success Partners' Jack Burton will delve into cable's next-gen HFC architecture plans and explain why going all-fiber may make more sense for operators right now.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.