Verizon elegantly brushes off Dish's 5G buildout plans and New T-Mobile's grand ambitions

Verizon elegantly brushes off Dish's 5G buildout plans and New T-Mobile's grand ambitions
It's no longer a big secret that Dish wants to take Sprint's place as the nation's fourth-largest wireless service provider as T-Mobile is preparing to swallow the slowly decaying brand whole and integrate its crucial mid-band spectrum into an impressively widespread 5G network that badly needs a speed boost.

But it should also come as no surprise that, while Dish continues to talk a good game, the US television provider doesn't have a lot to show for in terms of actual developments supporting its bold promises of not only replacing Sprint in the very near future, but deploying a superior cellular network compared to the industry's outdated veterans.

Verizon isn't buying Dish's hype


For what it's worth, the leader of the "Blockbuster" group is not resting on its laurels, being fully aware that "there's always people out there trying new things" to disrupt the status quo. That being said, Verizon remains highly skeptical of any real danger emerging from the Dish side, with EVP and CFO Matt Ellis emphasizing Charlie Ergen's company has "owned spectrum for a long time", doing absolutely nothing with it until temporarily loaning it out to T-Mobile to prove its worth in a time of crisis.


If you ask Ergen, of course, you'll learn that things are different now that his satellite TV giant is closing in on acquiring Boost Mobile, as well as launching 5G trial service in at least one major US market. Verizon's skepticism is also connected to the $10 billion expense bill slapped by Dish on its still-vague 5G buildout designs, which many analysts have deemed completely unrealistic too.

According to Ellis, Big Red spends "a little more than that annually" on maintaining and upgrading its own established wireless network, which makes it pretty clear that Dish will need to come up with a much larger sum of money to deliver on those pledges made to the Department of Justice last year. What's not entirely clear is the financing path the company could have access to in today's economic climate, although the possibility of someone like Google or Amazon entering the equation remains on the table.

All eyes on "New T-Mobile"


Another thing Verizon is obviously watching "very closely" is the evolution of T-Mobile's 5G network after the company's Sprint acquisition has finally been completed

While more and more analysts expect New T-Mobile to become the nation's speed and subscriber leader in the not-too-distant future, Verizon's top execs don't seem very worried, highlighting the nationwide integration process T-Mo is currently undergoing might take "a lot of work" and time, offering no guarantee the end result will be as impressive as anticipated when looking at the separate numbers of the two operators today.


Naturally, Big Red will not sit idly by while Magenta rises to challenge its long-standing crown, aiming to continue expanding its blazing fast but not very widespread 5G network at a steady pace. This is entirely based on mmWave technology, and that was a choice Verizon made to try to deliver 5G "in a way that brings all the functionality."

It's certainly hard to argue with that point if you've experienced the insane speeds of the carrier's high-band 5G signal, but unfortunately, that's only possible if you live in one of a select few dense urban areas... and if said signal doesn't get blocked by a wall, tree, or other type of mundane obstacle.

Going forward, Verizon also plans to use a technology called dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) to, well, dynamically share the same spectrum for 4G and 5G connectivity, thus boosting the theoretical coverage of the latter network. In case you're wondering, T-Mobile does not expect DSS to "materially help" Verizon due to a number of integration issues that are unlikely to be fully resolved anytime soon.

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