There have been many attempts over the past two decades to compete with fixed line copper, coax and fiber installations with Wireless Broadband Fixed Access. Pretty much all of them have failed on a larger scale as technology over copper has evolved and fiber has been deployed in many places. But Verizon thinks Fixed Wireless access can compete with the latest wireless technology and pushes ahead with its mmWave system it has forked from 3GPP specifications last year.
The technical details of the system have been published for some time now and I wrote an article on this last year with interesting links to further technical information such as a 7 minutes video on the specifications by Rhode and Schwarz. Verizon seems to be closer to having commercial hardware in their hands now to deploy in the real world on a larger scale. According to press reports after a recent press conference by Verizon’s CFO, they plan to deploy their system in the second half of 2018 in 3-5 big cities in the US with a potential customer base of 30 million households.
Based on past experience, advances in fixed line technology and economics which I think all continue to favor fixed line broadband access from urban to rural scenarios I nevertheless wish them a lot of luck as especially in the US, prices for home broadband access are still way higher than in other parts of the world and competition is the only way to change this. Also it’s great that there are companies out there betting on new and unproven technology to push wireless technology further rather than just sitting on their hands.
(P.S.: And yes I’m quite aware that Verizon has not found a lot of friends in 3GPP by the fuzz created when they forked the LTE spec, put some mmWave ingredients into it and called it 5G).