Source: STL Partners
Verizon was a pioneer, launching a 5G network based on millimetre wave (mmWave). The characteristics of this spectrum choice (i.e. limited reach and propagation) have challenged its ability to monetise the network with both consumers and business customers, despite the performance benefits that mmWave can deliver. It has since added low-band 5G (for extended 5G coverage) and, going forward, will integrated C-band (mid-band) spectrum into its 5G offerings. It reports a “5G adoption” at 14% of its postpay base, the equivalent of 12.6 million subscribers (though it is unclear who is experiencing a 5G service in reality).
From the consumer perspective, Verizon’s main areas of 5G monetisation are via 5G-inclusive mobile and data plans (particularly premium Unlimited plans with mmWave access), fixed wireless access (FWA) home broadband plans and MVNOs (business-to-business-to-consumer network monetisation). While Verizon customers are migrating to 5G-inclusive plans (often incentivised with 5G device discounts), there are no 5G-optimised services available to demonstrate 5G advantages, unlike at SK Telecom.
Beyond business mobile and data device plans, Verizon is commercialising 5G in the enterprise segment via speed-based FWA Business Internet plans and 5G Edge services. It also promotes venue/stadium specific services and an IOT proposition in connection with 5G. Private 5G is an emerging area for Verizon and it has started to commercialise this internationally. Professional services, like transformation consulting, that promote 5G as a business solution have assumed a lower profile on its website. Verizon does highlight a few third-party applications on its website – this may represent a further source of revenue, but it appears very limited at present.
Our May 2021 report, Verizon’s journey in commercializing 5G, is the second part of a three-part series taking an in-depth look at how 5G pioneers have evolved their approaches to commercialisation since launch, navigating a maze of factors such as handset availability, technology immaturity and more.
See here for further 5G research. The Verizon case study builds on earlier reports, including: