Verizon Chief Network Officer Palmer explains why Big Red sat out the FCC's 600MHz spectrum auction

Verizon Chief Network Officer Palmer explains why Big Red sat out the FCC's 600MHz spectrum auction
As we told you earlier this month, T-Mobile, Comcast and Dish Networks were the three big spenders during the FCC's auction of 600MHz spectrum. As T-Mobile's CEO John Legere pointed out, these airwaves are considered to be the equivalent of beachfront property since low-frequency spectrum can travel farther, and penetrate buildings better than higher band airwaves.

Some of the big names that you might have expected to successfully bid in the auction, ended up on the sidelines instead. Early in the process, Sprint announced that it had enough spectrum (albeit of the high-frequency variety) and pulled out of the auction. Verizon, the nation's largest carrier, and a company with deep pockets to boot, was also AWOL from the list of bidders. This morning, Big Red's Chief Network Officer, Nicola Palmer, explained why the company took its marbles and went home.

Palmer's answer can be boiled down down to the same reason that Sprint gave for staying home; it simply didn't need any more additional spectrum. Palmer, writing on Verizon's "News" blog, pointed out some of the things that Verizon has done to improve its network. That includes the use of 4 x 4 MIMO which allows a handset to receive and send four data streams at the same time. She also mentioned how using small cells and distributed antenna systems (DAS) has helped Verizon increase the capacity of its pipeline through network densification.

The executive even took the time to take a pot shot at T-Mobile, which spent $7.9 billion to win 45% of the spectrum up for bidding. While not mentioning the company by name, She pointed out that a Verizon competitor spent nearly $8 billion to get a national low-band footprint. "They need it, desperately," Palmer wrote. "And while they continue to play catch up in 4G, we’ve had the largest national LTE Advanced footprint on 700 MHz spectrum for seven years, and it keeps getting better."

Palmer also mentioned that the next big wave of innovation is coming with 5G, noting that Verizon has "access" to 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum that it will use for its next-gen network. What she didn't mention was whether Verizon is the mystery bidder that topped AT&T's $1.6 billion bid for Straight Path. The latter has holdings in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum that make the company a useful purchase for all U.S. carriers planning on building a 5G pipeline. AT&T has until early next week to top the new high bid of $1.8 billion for Straight Path.

source: Verizon



1. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Gotta get the douchebag jab in.

2. DaBigDogg

Posts: 24; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

That's why I get my awesomely fantastic 3Mbps down and 25Mbps up speeds, right? Best network my ass...

4. tuminatr

Posts: 1144; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Ymmv on speed tests I got a 133mbps down and 38mbps up in the Minneapolis metro area around lunch time the other day on Verizon

3. Kil4thril

Posts: 80; Member since: Oct 05, 2016

Can't wait to see John's return fire. It's coming, wait for it

5. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The best network with gimped phones. What's T-Mobile gets this 600 megahertz Spectrum up and running in my area, I plan to switch to them and never look at Verizon again.

9. MattyP

Posts: 24; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

Gimped phones? Are we still living in 2013-14? Apple, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and LG have all had unlocked flagships that work great on Verizon for at least a couple years now if you don't want to buy the "gimped" carrier version. I got a Nexus 6 unlocked in late 2014 and it worked great on Verizon. iPhone 6 and newer works unlocked. Samsung S6 and newer. Motorolas have for a while. I believe the G4 and after have all worked like any other carrier. Maybe not if you buy it directly from Verizon, but it doesn't take a genius to check on compatible network bands and what is in the devices (considering the site we're on).

10. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They don't work entirely.

14. MattyP

Posts: 24; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

Yes they do.

15. TBomb

Posts: 1579; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I disagree... I bought the unlocked HTC 10 and Verizon wouldnt let the phone connect... said i needed to get the Verizon version or else it wouldnt work

16. MattyP

Posts: 24; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

That's not a statement you can disagree with. I stated all the big manufacturers have had unlocked flagships that worked great on Verizon that weren't gimped. That's entirely true. Nowhere did I specify that was the unlocked HTC 10 which simply doesn't have the proper antenna (notice I even stated you should check the bands for compatibility on this very site). Although, the Google Pixel (manufacturered by HTC) works whether you buy it from Verizon or unlocked elsewhere. I suppose I could have specified "Most manufacturers within the last couple of years have made at least one phone that works unlocked on Verizon without any issues with network connectivity" instead of opening myself up for nitpicky trolling arguments over semantics.

17. TBomb

Posts: 1579; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

MattyP - I think you are mistaken. You can have the unlocked HTC10 work on Verizon.. you just have to do some software changes to it (i believe - i can't rmember because it wan't figured out until I exchanged it for a Verizon version that was gimped). That means the antenna bands are there - Verizon just won't let the IMEI number on the network. I have also seen this on other phones from other OEMs going to Verizon (however I can't speak on full antenna coverage for them). At the end of the day though, I think you are right to an exteent and i am also right to my extent and we are actually arguing 2 different arguments.

18. MattyP

Posts: 24; Member since: Jul 31, 2013 Scroll down to bands, it is missing the 700Mhz that is Verizon's primary LTE band. Yeah they have AWS-3 now but it is missing a very important one. I worked for Verizon for a while and now work for TMO. Verizon doesn't give a s**t about IMEI (it mattered before LTE launched for 3G devices but hasn't since unless you still want to use a CDMA only device). If you put an LTE SIM card in a device that has all compatible network bands it will simply work...that has been the case since LTE launched in 2011. The issue Verizon Reps have is they first have to activate a device on an account, so if you're a brand new Verizon customer you need to activate a device the system can activate with the SIM card, then simply put the SIM card in an unlocked device and it works perfectly (given correct bands). That's IF the manufacturer phone doesn't work unlocked straight on their network...stuff like Unlocked S7's, iPhone 7, Moto X, Nexus 6, Pixel, etc. all work fine activating the devices. Some devices you had to do this stupid work around and a lot of customer service or sales reps were too ignorant or didn't care to do it since it's extra work on their part for nothing. Like I said previously, it's semantics. The fact of the matter is, most flagship devices that people care about (Samsung, Apple, LG, Motorola) have had something available that is not a "gimped" carrier version that works on Verizon within the last couple years. If you (as in anyone in general) can't understand what I originally said in regards to unlocked devices working such as an S6, S7, S8, Note 5, iPh 6/6s/7, G5, G6, Moto X, Nexus 6, Pixel, etc. etc. then you're just being a nitpicky tool that wants to argue.

19. MattyP

Posts: 24; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

To make a correction: I actually missed band 13 (700Mhz) in their specs. It should work perfectly fine on Verizon's network unless it's missing another band such as CDMA. You'd just have to have an already active SIM card and move it into the HTC 10 unlocked. If it doesn't work, there is nothing related to Verizon for causing acting like it's Verizon only allowing gimped phones (as the original argument started from) is stupid.

11. tuminatr

Posts: 1144; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

gonna be about 2 years

6. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Don't care. Bleep off Verizon.

7. talon95

Posts: 1000; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

For the most part she's right. But as a customer I'm going to prefer to be on T-mobile's 600Mhz with 4 times the bandwidth per customer than Verizon customers, plus the 600 is optimal stuff.

12. tuminatr

Posts: 1144; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

with that kind of logic Sprint has the most bandwidth per customer

8. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Surprise!! Future 5G will work on 600MHz spectrum, too. Suck it, Verizzy!

13. RockStar2005

Posts: 13; Member since: May 28, 2016

Hell yeah! I left Verizon too 3 years ago and NEVER looked back either. T-Mobile IS taking over, and this spectrum auction only further confirms that prediction! They already knocked Sprint out of the #3 spot, and it's just a matter of time before AT&T and Verizon are next!

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