As promised, Verizon now covers more than 175 million people with its 5G Ultra Wideband service. The next big goal: Make its Ultra Wideband service nationwide in the first quarter of 2023.

Earlier this year, Verizon said it would cover more than 175 million people by the end of 2022, so the milestone announced today is technically about a month ahead of schedule. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband refers to services it offers using millimeter wave (mmWave) and mid-band spectrum to deliver speeds up to 10 times what users would otherwise get. 

The carrier also said its C-band rollout is a full 13 months ahead of its original schedule and continues to accelerate – apparently not hampered by modifications triggered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) around airports.

“Our customers don’t stand still and neither does our network. Today, more than one out of every two Americans now have access to 5G Ultra Wideband. We know our customers rely on our service every day and we work for them – continuously enhancing, expanding and improving our wireless network,” said Verizon CEO and Chairman Hans Vestberg in a statement.

“And as proud as I am to have crossed this milestone, I am equally proud of the way we are building our network – with the most advanced technologies, industry leading security, a robust fiber underpinning and a robust and varied spectrum portfolio. We are building this right. We are building this as a platform for innovation for years to come,” he added. 

Vestberg is talking up the company’s technical expertise while grappling with three quarters of subscriber losses in the consumer division. Separately, the company today announced the departure of its Consumer Group CEO, Manon Brouillette, who was promoted to CEO of that division in January of this year. Vestberg has assumed responsibility for leading the Consumer Group in addition to his day-to-day responsibilities as CEO.

Verizon isn’t breaking out the amount of C-band versus mmWave that’s included in its 5G Ultra Wideband network. The company said it will continue to build out its C-band spectrum, but its engineers are not losing sight of the other components that will give customers more robust and reliable service.

In addition to providing greater coverage, especially in rural and suburban areas, Verizon said it will enhance capacity by activating 100 MHz of C-Band spectrum in many markets, a step up from the 60 MHz of spectrum available when deployment first started. Once all of its licensed spectrum is made available, Verizon boasts that it will have up to 200 MHz of C-Band spectrum deployed in many markets.

Verizon also said it will continue deploying 5G on mmWave spectrum, which provides super high speeds and loads of capacity in high-traffic venues like stadiums, arenas, airports, major metro areas and office complexes. It’s also using mmWave for private network deployments in enterprise applications, such as manufacturing and remote healthcare.

Verizon still has some catching up to do when it comes to 5G mid-band coverage. Near the end of last year, T-Mobile announced it covered 200 million people with 2.5 GHz spectrum. It’s now reaching 250 million people while adding other spectrum, like 1.9 GHz, into the mix. T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray has said they plan to cover 260 million people with “Ultra Capacity 5G” by the end of the year.

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