Verizon revealed that its upcoming launch of fixed 5G wireless service in four markets this year will be more than just a residential broadband play. The company said that it has partnered with YouTube TV and Apple TV to deliver content in addition to broadband connectivity.
The partnerships with Apple TV and YouTube also set Verizon up to become a possible competitor to cable companies like Comcast and Charter. In an interview with CNBC early today, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said that fixed 5G “absolutely” should be viewed as a cable service without the wire.
But by cutting deals with Apple TV and Google it appears the operator doesn’t want to develop its own content but instead act like a content aggregator. Verizon has not revealed any pricing details of its fixed 5G residential service, which it plans to launch by year-end.
Verizon also said that Indianapolis, Indiana, will be its fourth 5G market, joining Sacramento and Los Angeles, California, and Houston, Texas. Adding Indianapolis to the launch market list isn’t a huge surprise. Last May the operator tested 5G at the Indianapolis 500 car race.
Verizon also said it has forged a relationship with Indiana state and local officials to collaborate on things like upgrading the city’s infrastructure and also making improvements to Lucas Oil Stadium. It is also working closely with the local utility, Indianapolis Power & Light.
Verizon has said that it will initially launch four fixed 5G wireless markets in the U.S. however, these markets will use the company’s pre-standard 5G technology. According to Vestberg, those markets will then be quickly upgraded to standards-based 5G when that equipment is available.
Verizon so far is the only major U.S. operator to be launching a residential fixed 5G service. AT&T conducted a lot of fixed 5G wireless trials around the country but the operator has said that it doesn’t think there’s a business case for residential fixed 5G. Instead, AT&T is planning to launch mobile 5G service in 12 markets by year-end.