One of the biggest promises of 5G is the ability to deliver broadband-class internet to homes, especially those in remote or rural locations. Unfortunately, Verizon customers will have to wait, as the company has once again delayed 5G Home rollout.
According to Light Reading, Verizon is waiting for more powerful equipment that won’t be available until the second half of 2020. The high-powered customer premises equipment (CPE) has much longer range than current equipment, which will be a significant factor in practical adoption of the technology. In contrast, current devices use smartphone chipsets, which give them far shorter range.
Ultimately Verizon’s goal is to cover 30 million households, but Verizon’s Ronan Dunne admits it may take five to seven years before that goal is realized. As he told Light Reading, this is partly because of where Verizon is focusing its 5G deployment efforts.
Unlike T-Mobile or AT&T, Verizon is focusing exclusively on mmWave 5G deployment. This high-frequency 5G has the fastest speed—often measured in gigabits—but has very limited range and building penetration. As a result, cell towers and base stations must be placed within a couple hundred meters of each other to achieve coverage. Due to this limitation, Verizon is focusing primarily on urban areas that are often “low residential.”
Hopefully the newer, more powerful equipment Verizon is waiting on will help address some of these limitations and enable the carrier to start rolling out 5G Home to a wider market.