Crystal ball

Prediction: Verizon Will Offer C-Band Service To Everyone

Verizon won a bunch of spectrum in the recent C-Band Auction. That spectrum will be deployed over the next few years and will soon form a core part of Verizon’s network.

Eli Blumenthal, a reporter for CNET, recently shared this tweet:

I’m betting Verizon won’t stick to this policy over the long term. The new C-band spectrum is going to be extremely useful for Verizon when managing performance on its capacity-constrained network. If Verizon artificially limits C-band access to a minority of its customers, the company won’t be able to use the spectrum as efficiently as possible.

While I expect limiting C-band access will eventually become costly for Verizon, it’s not too costly yet. There are two main reasons:

  1. C-band spectrum will take a while to deploy (much of the spectrum won’t even be available to Verizon until 2023).
  2. At the moment, C-band is only supported by a handful of top-of-the-line phones. People with new, fancy phones almost certainly subscribe to Verizon’s premium plans at a disproportionate rate.

The situation will change as more C-band spectrum is deployed and C-band compatibility becomes a standard feature on nearly all phones. As that happens, I expect Verizon will open up C-band access to almost all of its direct subscribers as well as subscribers with Verizon’s flanker brands and Verizon-powered MVNOs.

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