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Verizon (VZ) Deploys C-Band Gear to Harness Spectrum Capabilities

Zacks.com logo Zacks.com 4/13/2021

Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently inked deals with Crown Castle International Corp. CCI and SBA Communications Corporation SBAC for an undisclosed amount to deploy equipment for the C-Band spectrum. The contracts with two of the leading independent operators of wireless communication towers in the United States will facilitate the carrier to harness the power of the newly acquired spectrum for faster 5G rollout across the country.

Notably, Verizon was the largest bidder with $45.5 billion worth of bids in the FCC-led C-Band auction for mid-band airwaves that generated about $81.2 billion in gross proceeds, followed by AT&T Inc. T and T-Mobile US Inc. at $23.4 billion and $9.3 billion, respectively. The auction offered 280 MHz of spectrum in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band for potential 5G deployments over the next few years. While Verizon secured 3,511 of the 5,684 licenses up for grabs, AT&T and T-Mobile claimed 1,621 and 142 licenses, respectively. This, in turn, helped Verizon and AT&T to close the gap with T-Mobile related to its mid-band spectrum holding assets owing to its merger with Sprint.

By virtue of its winning bids in the auction, Verizon has secured an average of 161 MHz of C-band nationwide spectrum. The C-Band offers significant bandwidth with better propagation characteristics for optimum coverage in both rural and urban areas compared with mmWave, which has a short range and requires a high density of sites to achieve coverage. Consequently, it is deemed to be a prized asset for carriers like Verizon that lack considerable mid-band spectrum holdings.

Over the years, Verizon has systematically invested in 5G technology to gain a foothold in the industry and the C-Band spectrum is expected to fortify its market presence. The wireless operator is building the 5G home solution and mobile edge computing on the same network and expects to witness a solid 5G momentum in 2021 backed by customer-centric business model and diligent execution of operational plans. Verizon’s 5G mobility service offers an unparalleled experience that impacts industries as diverse as public safety, health care, retail and sports. The company’s 5G network hinges on three fundamental drivers to deliver the full potential of next-generation wireless technology. These include massive spectrum holdings, particularly in the millimeter-wave bands for faster data transfer, end-to-end deep fiber resources and the ability to deploy a large number of small cells.

The pandemic has further highlighted the need for high-speed, high-bandwidth and low-latency connections — the hallmarks of the 5G network — for digital sustainability. With digital sustainability being the norm of the day, telecom firms have aided countless people with increased 5G deployments as virtual communication replaced in-person exchanges with social distancing and the work-from-home option in vogue. No wonder that more and more firms are increasingly joining this 5G bandwagon and are aiming to outbid rivals to gain an advantage in this evenly contested field. By deploying the requisite equipment and hardware support for C-Band spectrum, Verizon thus aims to leapfrog competition in the 5G race.

Shares of the company have gained 1.5% in the past year compared with the industry’s rise of 13.4%.

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Verizon presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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