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Verizon’s Eric Cevis: Embracing a Reliable Network PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 February 2019 09:14


To deliver new best-in-class customer experiences and to ensure first-to-market leadership in the 5G era, Verizon recently announced a new operating structure focused on three customer-facing areas: Consumer, Business and Verizon Media Group.

“This new structure reflects a clear strategy that starts with Verizon customers,” said CEO Hans Vestberg. “We’re building on our network transformation efforts and the Intelligent Edge architecture to deliver new customer experiences and optimize the growth opportunities we see as leaders in the 5G era. We’re focused on how our technology can benefit customers’ lives and society at large.”

Telecom Review recently sat down with Eric Cevis who is President of Verizon Partner Solutions in order to give our readers a good overview of Verizon’s network centric plan. In this role, he is responsible for domestic and international wholesale strategy; including marketing, sales, customers and wholesale business operations.

The investment in the network allows for a whole new ecosystem for new services and applications as they evolve. These new services and applications continue to be developed at a very fast pace. “We have an intelligent network that exists today and we are expanding it for tomorrow, Eric told Telecom Review.

Eric told us, “We have embraced our reliable network to better serve the future.” We decided that we will focus on what we do best and that is to provide a network to transport everyone’s apps.”

Verizon has struck a deal with Corning to purchase up to 37.2 million miles of optical fiber and related hardware over the next three years, with Verizon planning to use that fiber to boost capacity and lower latency in its wireless network.

"The agreement calls for Corning to provide and Verizon to purchase up to 20 million kilometers (12.4 million miles) of optical fiber each year from 2018 through 2020, with a minimum purchase commitment of $1.05 billion."

The fiber will be used for network improvements "designed to improve Verizon’s 4G LTE coverage, speed the deployment of 5G, and deliver high-speed broadband to homes and businesses of all sizes." But while Verizon mentioned both mobile and home Internet service, this doesn't mean there will be any unexpected expansions of FiOS, Verizon's fiber-to-the-home service.

In 2018, Verizon achieved a series of 5G technological firsts with their technology partners, including:

  • First video call placed over a pre-commercial 5G connection on a prototype 5G device at the 2018 Super Bowl with Samsung in February.
  • First 5G NR data transmission in a lab with Nokia and Qualcomm in February.
  • First two-way data transmission of 3GPP 5G NR and the first use of multi-carrier aggregation to boost the signal into Gbps range – outdoors – with Nokia in June.
  • First transmission of a 5G NR signal to a receiver in a moving vehicle with Nokia in August.
  • First data transmission on a commercial hardware 5G NR network in Washington DC in September with Nokia.
  • First data transmission over commercial 5G NR network equipment to a prototype smartphone device in Minneapolis with Ericsson and Qualcomm in September.
  • First 5G data transmission on a smartphone, using the Motorola moto z3 paired with a 5G moto mod, the world’s first 5G-upgradeable smartphone, with Samsung and Qualcomm, in November.
  • First video call from a 5G smartphone to a 5G smartphone over a 5G network in the United States, with Samsung, in December.

 

Verizon is piloting what it calls 5G wireless home Internet with customers in 11 markets in the first half of 2017. Those markets are Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, DC.

Verizon says it can deliver gigabit broadband speeds over wireless by bringing fiber closer to homes without the expense of bringing fiber all the way into each building. The 5G wireless trial will also bring a Verizon home Internet service to some places outside the company's landline telephone network territory in the Northeast US.

Verizon's announcement said there's a shortfall in fiber supply in the industry but that the deal with Corning will ensure that they can meet construction schedules.

Eric went on to explain that Verizon is and will in the future be the “intelligent edge” to serve the digital economy of tomorrow.

Eric noted that they have three “centers of excellence” including:

  1. Their global network for wave and ethernet services
  2. Wireless transport
  3. Voice and app platforms

Verizon continues to grow their transport business with more growth in wave. Eric noted that waves are a CAGR growth area for the company and they continue to innovate in that area with aggressive provisioning intervals that are best in class. Verizon is doing major builds in 30 days or less. They are also looking at mesh networking to further enhance the services provided to their customers

Verizon and the City of Boston recently signed updated agreements to accelerate Boston’s plan to be one of the most technologically advanced cities in the nation. Building on the relationship formed in 2016, Verizon will expand its local wireless network, bring Fios Internet and TV to the city’s remaining neighborhoods not covered in the original franchise agreement, and collaborate with Boston on Smart Communities solutions. The company also announced further plans regarding its long-term lease of more than 450,000 square feet for its technology workforce at The Hub on Causeway.

These new wireless network enhancements will double Verizon’s original $300 million investment focused on building a 100% fiber-optic network across Boston announced in 2016.

“Our partnership with Verizon reflects one goal: to make sure all of Boston’s residents have access to the most advanced digital technology both now, and in the future,” said Mayor Walsh. “We’re making sure Boston is the best digital city in the nation, and through partnerships with companies like Verizon, residents will have better, more affordable options, as we work together to create inclusive growth for our city.”

“The City of Boston has been a tremendous partner for us, and a great leader in building the digital city of the future,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer of Verizon. “Together we’re creating a platform of innovation with the latest technology that will benefit Boston residents, businesses, universities, first responders and visitors for decades to come.”

To further underscore this expanded technology partnership, Verizon will be contributing $1 million to the Boston Digital Equity Fund to help support programs that provide affordable access to broadband to underserved residents.

Wireless Network Enhancements

Under a new 10-year agreement, Verizon will significantly expand its wireless small cell network to bring more speed and capacity to its existing 4G LTE network – named best in Boston by RootMetrics for the third straight time – and to pave the way for the eventual deployment of 5G services in Boston.

Important tools to enhance their LTE network for customers, small cells are designed to complement traditional cell sites or towers, and are placed strategically to meet data capacity demand in areas of high customer usage. In many locations, small cells are “hiding in plain sight,” on existing structures like city traffic lights or utility poles.

The City of Boston will provide Verizon with a streamlined permitting process for the installation of new small cells. Verizon will provide a host of Smart Communities products and services that will enable Boston to achieve efficiencies in areas such as traffic management, safety and energy efficiency.

Fios Expansion

Verizon and the City of Boston are amending the existing TV license agreement to expand Fios TV services. More than half the homes in Boston now have access to this all-fiber network, and Fios service is available in Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, Seaport, South Boston and West Roxbury. The new amendment will enable Fios TV expansion as the fiber network is built in South Boston, South End, Allston, Brighton, Back Bay, Charlestown, East Boston, Fenway and Downtown.

Verizon isn’t just expanding its fiber-based wireless and wireline networks in Boston, it’s also expanding its presence in the city. The company’s previously announced lease is for the top of the tallest office building built in Boston in two decades, and its presence at the Hub on Causeway will include 16 floors of innovatively designed space, of which, five floors will be reserved for incubators, accelerators, and partners.

Apps and IOT for the Future

Verizon is currently and will be a strong player in the app platform business which means they will transport new services such as IOT for others.

The Internet of Things describes the interconnected universe of gadgets that make everyday life more convenient. But no discussion of IoT would be complete without examining one of its most fascinating—and biggest—subsets: The Industrial Internet of Things.

IoT takes this complex web of connectivity out of our homes and offices and into the wild: construction sites, mines, oil derricks and freighter fleets. These can be linked industrial systems, often in harsh environments, producing reams of data that need to be analyzed and processed instantaneously.

Scaling a network to accommodate their sensitive, critically important data flows is an undertaking as massive as the machines that work across it. The IoT is not just about fridges ordering milk when the carton is low. That’s why Verizon has developed 5G Ultra-Wideband.

The Industrial Internet of Things Opportunity

As more and more devices connect—an estimated 20.4 billion by 2020—a wireless network that achieves new standards for speed, security, battery life and overall reliability is not a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity.

Jet turbines, windmills, trains, quarrying tools and the heavy machinery commonly referred to as “yellow iron” all reside in the IoT, and the sensors and monitors connected to these systems are often performing mission-critical functions. Any breakdowns or latency issues can result in lost time, lost money and even lost equipment.

How 5G will help power the IoT

To make better informed, faster business decisions, the speed and strength of the network must be a given. In testing, Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband can provide speeds up to 20x faster than current-generation wireless. With that kind of responsiveness, the potential of the IoT to not only streamline, but supercharge the industrial sector will only grow.

Eric mentioned that Verizon chose CAT M as their IOT standard and it has proven to be a good decision. LTE Cat-M1 lowers the barrier of entry to the IoT world, providing a quick and easy way to develop, deploy and manage your machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions. When combined with their network, these devices are cost-effective, help support applications with low data needs and are able to stay in the field much longer without needing to change batteries.

LTE Cat-M1 also uses networking protocols that help improve IoT coverage with better in-building and in-ground penetration. And it provides comprehensive security, including authentication, credentialing and encryption tools to keep your communications protected.

Verizon has many more opportunities in the IOT space as industries are implementing more and more applications. This includes everything from railroads to the OTT players around the world. Eric told us that Verizon’s decision to do what they do best, providing a strong and reliable network, is the future for Verizon.