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.
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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 new report produced in tandem with SCTE/ISBE, Heavy Reading spells out what cable operators are doing with fiber now, what they plan to do with it in the future and which challenges are the biggest.
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.
The MDU market continues to face fierce competition among service providers due to tech-savvy residents (i.e., millennials), demand from building owners and management companies, plus the favorable economics of bulk contracts. However, no MDUs are the same, so service providers must use multiple technologies and inconsistent deployment models, increasing operational complexity and rollout costs.
The MDU market itself is evolving as residents adopt smart-home technologies, generating rising demand for smart apartments with built-in connected thermostats, keyless entryways and doors, and video doorbells. This evolution presents both new challenges and opportunities. In other words, service providers must consider innovative service-delivery strategies to compete and win.
In this Broadband World News and ADTRAN webinar, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will highlight emerging MDU broadband Internet trends and challenges. In addition, Kurt will outline the next-generation service creation and delivery platform, built on open standards, that allows service providers to connect millions of underserved MDUs, enables creation of user-driven services, and reduces operational complexity and costs.
Plus, special guest, Alice Lawson, Broadband and Cable Program Manager for the City of Seattle, will discuss Seattle’s B4B-Build For Broadband initiative that addresses best practices in planning for MDU telecommunication infrastructure.