Today Verizon announced that they are restructuring their business units to better align for what they anticipate to be a robust future in the 5G world. With a new CEO at the helm, VZ announced that they are splitting their operation into three customer-facing units at the start of the new year. One of the divisions will be combining fixed and mobile operations focusing on the consumer market, another will do the same for the business sector. The third unit will include Oath, the online business formed when VZ brought in Yahoo and AOL under their umbrella.
It’s very clear that they are aligning their priorities and business efforts in preparation for launching services based on the 5G standard; especially after recently introducing a prestandard of 5G to support some residential broadband services where they are choosing to not have fixed facilities. The blending of the fixed and mobile consumer-facing resources is interesting as the evolution of technology is seeing a melding of these services as communications companies become more flexible and adaptable to meet their consumer needs.
What does that mean for independent telcos?
While I continue to believe that 5G is a technology that will be deployed first in high-density areas, I also believe that RLECs need to not rule out access to spectrum when there are opportunities in the future. As we look at what might happen with the C-band and other spectrum opportunities, I am hopeful that NTCA members will be mindful that full broadband deployment in their low-density areas will keep an open mind to all forms of technology available, including wireless assets.
It will be interesting to watch the large players as they position for the future and while rural markets are different, there are always lessons that can be learned from some of their approaches and I’ll be curious to see how they blend their technologies and consumer-facing moves in the future.