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Verizon 5G Home’s Relationship Status With Cable? It’s Complicated

January 09, 2019 / Jessica Lyons
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Verizon it absolutely targeting cable companies with its 5G Home internet service. But it also wants to be the cable guys’ “best long-term partner,” said Ronan Dunne, EVP of Verizon and president of Verizon Wireless.Dunne, speaking at the Citi 2019 Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, said Verizon can have it both ways.“We are committed to being the best long-term partner for the MSOs [multiple system operators],” he said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “It’s a very important relationship to us. We’re also committed to lose less than our fair share of our branded business to the MSOs.”This may sound duplicitous, but it’s true. While Verizon competes against cable with its residential 5G service, cable operators Comcast and Charter Communications both have mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deals with Verizon under which they lease Verizon’s network. So while Verizon wants to steal some of cable’s share of the market — and its initial 5G Home service targets cities dominated by either Comcast or Charter — it also makes money from these MVNO agreements. In other words: it’s a complicated relationship. The carrier launched its 5G Home service last October. It’s a fixed wireless technology where Verizon installs equipment in a neighborhood and people can get their home internet over the air instead of having a wire into their home from cable. This allows customers to “get rid of everything you hate about cable,” the website says.Verizon calls it 5G, but the service uses a proprietary technology that does not currently align with internationally recognized standards bodies. The carrier has said it plans to update the technology underlying the service to a standards-based 5G model as it becomes available.