Verizon Anticipates Significant Enhancement to Rural 5G Network in the Coming Weeks


In a significant stride towards technological advancement, telecommunications giant Verizon has announced its impending major upgrade to rural 5G infrastructure. The company disclosed that its C-band 5G spectrum, capable of spanning up to 200MHz, has been authorized for utilization ahead of schedule by four months. This impending upgrade is projected to bring an array of benefits, including increased bandwidth and accelerated data transmission rates, particularly catering to customers residing in rural areas. By leveraging this new spectrum, Verizon aims to not only amplify its 5G-based home and business internet services but also enhance its wireless phone offerings.

The clearance of this spectrum for commercial utilization became possible following the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) endorsing the strategic transition of satellite communication firms SES and Intelsat to higher C-band frequencies. This switch paved the way for the allocation of lower C-band frequencies for widespread commercial cell phone use.

Recent reports from X (formerly known as Twitter) have highlighted a notable development: individuals have observed the availability of 100MHz of spectrum for Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband (UW) service in remote locales like Intercourse, Pennsylvania, and Bristol, Virginia. These reports showcase Ookla Speedtest screenshots capturing wireless throughput speeds typically witnessed in limited sections of metropolitan areas. Verizon affirms that it has already made its new C-band spectrum accessible in 359 markets. An inquiry into the complete list is underway, with plans to update the information when a response is received.

The telecommunications powerhouse is in the process of rolling out up to 200MHz of C-band spectrum to approximately 40 million people spread across 158 markets, which are primarily categorized as "mostly rural." Simultaneously, the remaining network will experience a minimum allocation of 140MHz, contributing to an average nationwide spectrum availability of 161MHz.

To take full advantage of Verizon's 5G UW service, phones need to be compatible with this technology. Therefore, older devices might not experience the benefits of this upgrade. However, devices like the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G or the iPhone 12 and later models have showcased impressive results. Verizon claims that, in proximity to a tower, these phones achieved peak throughput speeds of up to 1.4Gbps using merely 100MHz of spectrum, while speeds of 500Mbps were observed at greater distances. The company provides a comprehensive list of other compatible devices on its official website.


Verizon anticipates that the availability of this spectrum will significantly enhance its 5G Ultra Wideband network— a comprehensive term encompassing both C-band and mmWave 5G. The impact is expected to be substantial, with the network's bandwidth "more than doubling and, in some markets, tripling."

Verizon's commitment to technological advancement was evidenced in its substantial investment of $45.4 billion during the 2021 C-band auction, outshining its competitors. The company has since embarked on deploying its newly acquired 60MHz spectrum in 2022 and has been progressively expanding its network's reach as the spectrum becomes available in more markets.

As of August 14th, 2023, a significant update has been introduced: Intelsat's transition to higher C-band frequencies has also been reported this month, further underlining the rapid pace of developments in the telecommunications landscape.

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