Wireless Carrier Review: Verizon Wireless

Verizon Communications is an international wireless carrier with several divisions, including its Verizon Business Group. 

The mobile company has 130,100 employees and nearly 1,500 stores, with its corporate headquarters in New York City and operations headquarters in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, as of April 2021.

Verizon offers multiple business-facing technology and network solutions, which include private wireless networks, 5G, edge computing, and software-defined (SD) networks.

See below to learn more about Verizon:

Mobile solutions

5G network 

During the initial push for 5G from cellular carriers, a large portion of Verizon's wireless ventures has included millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G in large venues in a few select cities. 

The high-band 5G provides almost instant signal transmission. It's a good solution for large, open-air locations that need responsive and real-time data. 

High-band spectrum is not a sustainable choice for businesses or venues that aren't open, since mmWave doesn’t pass through solid objects easily or cross long distances.

Verizon uses Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) for its Nationwide network, which allows 4G, LTE, and 5G spectrums to coexist. Verizon's 5G Nationwide network is not standalone 5G but a combination of 4G LTE and 5G.

Verizon's 5G coverage is heavily concentrated in the Northeast and California, as well as widespread in regions of the Midwest, Southeast, and Arizona. Verizon announced that its 5G coverage had extended to 230 million customers, as of December 2020. 

Verizon coverage map.

Verizon's map visualizing its concentrations of 5G coverage in the United States.

Private wireless networks 

Verizon offers private wireless networks for businesses to implement. 

Unlike Verizon's national cellular network, Verizon Nationwide, a privately owned wireless network is installed for one particular business. Private wireless networks can be installed in one physical facility or across the country.

Through a private wireless network, Verizon meets the need for widespread and fast connectivity to a single company network. All types of remote and field employees must be able to access a company network, and technologies such as advanced LTE or 5G enable them to quickly use applications and process data.

Digital Transformation services

Verizon's Digital Transformation solution includes three options: network as a service (NaaS), virtual network services, and a software-defined-wide area network (SD-WAN). 

NaaS solutions include managed network services, when Verizon manages day-to-day tasks, and machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). 

Virtual network services allow businesses to improve their network through a type of software-defined virtualization.

The SD-WAN is a virtual network solution that combines a variety of business networks where needed and improves bandwidth use across business networks. 

Hyper Precise Location

Verizon's Hyper Precise Location (HPL), a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, uses kinematics to provide real-time motion data for industries that require accurate and timely information. 

HPL can be paired with 5G Edge for vehicle positioning technology. This tech is particularly helpful for vehicle-pedestrian safety improvements.

Devices on 4G and 5G networks pick up "global navigation satellite system correction data" that allows companies to use more accurate data for their agricultural, automotive, or industrial needs, Verizon says. 

Open RAN

Verizon employs open radio access network (RAN) technology, or open source hardware and software, that makes it easier for 5G users to mix and match radio and base station technology —  and helps prevent vendor lock-in when purchasing 5G installation equipment.

Verizon acknowledges that open RAN needs a significant amount of work and testing before it can be a fully effective solution. However, it is  optimistic that open RAN can help other providers enter the radio access market.

"The transition to open RAN has the potential to bring many benefits, in terms of deployment flexibility and greater supplier choice, by increasing the opportunity for new entrants to provide competitive and innovative RAN solutions," Verizon says.


5G lab

The San Diego-based Marine Corps Air Station Miramar partnered with Verizon to create a 5G "living lab" to study and maximize energy on the base, according to a Verizon case study

The Department of Defense has fallen behind on tech research, especially compared to the more technically advanced regions of California, according to Lieutenant Colonel Brandon Newell. 

For four years, Miramar and Verizon will work together to use Verizon 5G Edge on the base. The research will focus on four 5G-related technologies to help with military operations: drones, connected vehicles, energy communications and management, and base security.

Newell points out how this experiment shows that to unlock more power and capability in 5G, Verizon must work with other organizations and be an "equal partner," not just "on the other end of a contract." 

He also explains that such a partnership, working together to research advanced technologies, should characterize how the government works with the telecom industry overall — providing opportunities for innovation and growth.

Thermal imaging

Verizon partnered with the medical technology company Zyter to bring thermal imaging techniques to large venues during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Thermal cameras read human body temperatures from a distance, and 5G technology quickly returns a temperature result. 

Through their partnership, Verizon and Zyter aim to ease the minds of stadium and other venue visitors during the pandemic by identifying potentially dangerous fevers. Zyter's technology, however, does not follow ideal FDA recommendations for accurately identifying body temperatures through thermal imaging, nor are its devices FDA approved for medical use.

These thermal imaging techniques show how Verizon's 5G technology can serve multiple purposes in business settings. 

User opinion

Retail giant Target is a Verizon customer: a few years ago, it needed to streamline networks and service providers for its store locations and employees, according to a Verizon case study

Verizon managed fiber optic cable installations in the majority of Target stores, which tripled Wi-Fi bandwidth for network users and increased checkout times. 

Target's SVP of technology infrastructure and operations said the initiative “allows Target to serve guests more effectively and also positions our stores for future success in an increasingly digital world." 

Target's tech team awarded Verizon its 2017 Supplier of the Year title. 

Multiple business users state that though Verizon was slightly more expensive than competitors, its connectivity or network coverage made the price worthwhile, according to several user review sites. Others, however, believe the services Verizon offered did not match the price they paid. 

Financial position

Verizon (NYSE: VZ; Nasdaq: VZ) reported revenue of $128.3 billion in 2020, including $31 billion for its Verizon Business Group. 

The company also reported non-GAAP free cash flow of $23.6 billion in 2020 and an unsecured debt balance of $118.5 billion for 2020.

Verizon expects its capital spending for 2021 to focus on three areas: millimeter-wave spectrum expansion, 4G LTE growth, and fiber deployment, according to its Q1 2021 earnings report. 

In 2021's mid-band 5G spectrum auction, Verizon purchased a significant majority of the mid-band, or C-band, share, committing to spend over $52 billion. 

After a slower rollout of wide-coverage 5G and a focus on lightning-fast but limited millimeter-wave 5G in select metropolitan areas, Verizon has worked to expand its cellular reach — and cornering the market on mid-band is a method of planning for future 5G success. 

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networking, Verizon, LTE, 4G LTE, 5G, 5G Networking