Verizon hit a new milestone in its rollout of 5G Ultra Wideband, which is the faster side of the carrier’s 5G network. This week, Big Red announced that 200 million people are now covered by their fastest form of 5G.
The target was for Verizon to hit 200 million people by the end of the first quarter and they have indeed delivered that based on today’s news. At 200 million people, Verizon claims to now cover roughly two out of three people in the US.
As a reminder, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband (5G UW) is a combination of their 5G mmW and C-band technologies. 5G mmW is the short-range, super fast gigabit-capable 5G that you find in stadiums, arenas, and heavily populated areas in cities. It can put up numbers, but it doesn’t reach far and often struggles to work through objects. The C-band part of 5G UW is the most important part, as it is mid-band 5G that stretches farther and still provides big boosts in speeds over their old 4G LTE network.
Verizon didn’t say which pieces of 5G UW make up for that 200 million, but the addition of C-band certainly helped boost coverage. That’s a big reason they spent so much money acquiring C-band spectrum back in early 2021.
And for reference, Verizon hit 175 million people at the end of 2022, so their continued push here is noteworthy. I have not yet heard a new target for them, but the plan for the year is to expand 5G UW further into rural and suburban areas, deploy more spectrum, and expand 5G mmW where they can.
For those who need a comparison to the competition, know that T-Mobile hit 200 million people with their best 5G network back in 2021.
Verizon folks, I’ve got to ask – how’s the network today? I feel like I’ve complained about this recently, but it’s not great here in Portland. I just hit gigabit speeds on T-Mobile by my kid’s school and yet can barely hold an LTE signal on Verizon at the same location. You seeing better results?