Omnipresent connectivity to trend in 2021
Never in recent history has stable and pervasive connectivity been so essential to the continued operations of enterprises and the daily lives of consumers. COVID-19 has driven a drastic uptick in remote working, video conferencing and requires high-speed data download facilities to share information. The continuation of commercial activity also requires these services to be available 100% of the time.
As the demand for international connectivity grows, companies are responding to users by offering solutions that give unmatched levels of coverage. These solutions even eliminate the need for fixed electricity or WiFi sources. Being able to deliver connectivity in remote locations is an expectation too. Ultimately, consumers need wide-spread, fast coverage, and increasingly reliable tech options.
According to , all this and more will be possible very soon. Telecom companies are fighting for customers, attracting business through their ultramodern tech and providing users with the best services.
However, providing these services requires extensive rethinking and rebuilding of current systems. Ekuddin points out that complete radio access will be the goal. He says, “The concept of ubiquitous radio access is evolving toward the vision of a future network that will deliver non-limiting performance to satisfy the needs of humans, things and machines by enhancing multidimensional coverage, stellar capacity and augmenting capabilities.”
The concept of complete global coverage, where all spots of the earth have connectivity to mobile networks and the Internet, requires the densification of current networks. This will enable them to provide far more widespread high-speed coverage. Referring to recent piloting of , Ekudden says elevation is key in creating universal coverage.
He explains, “Connected airborne devices, such as drones, require access on altitudes up to several kilometers, making it necessary to have a 3D point of view including the elevation aspect to provide coverage. There is also a need to ensure high-performing indoor connectivity by increasing the number of indoor small cells and fully integrating them.”
Flexible network topologies and deployments will also be essential in providing broad coverage delivering fast performance. But technology is swiftly answering our needs, he continues. “One possibility is a multi-hop-based radio network, where a multitude of nodes collaborate to forward a message to the receiver. This solution is particularly interesting for smaller cells of limited reach. Satellites, high-altitude platforms and airborne cells can be integrated into the network as a complement to extend coverage.”
Zero energy tech
As efficiency and connectivity requirements increase, developers are busy innovating zero-energy devices that can be added to networks and act as sensors and actuators. These can report continuously without charging or maintenance. Major steps in the IoT industry include narrowband IoT improvements and better machine type communication. These will be used for 5G implementations in the local area and wide area capacities.
The demand for omnipresent and continuous communication services is also forcing networks to use higher frequency bands to deliver advanced performance. Ekudden explains, “For example, communications over the terahertz frequency band (above 100GHz) have some attractive properties, including terabit-per-second link capacities and miniature transceivers.”
Ultimately, 5G services will revolutionise our connectivity – and not before time. Though some projects have been put on hold due to COVID-19, many globe-wide implementations of 5g are still going ahead. And as our current networks face ever more demanding usage, that’s a very good thing.
Every 60 seconds globally, approximately 4mn videos are viewed on YouTube, 2mn Snapchats are sent, and 50,000 photos are posted on Instagram. And that is just a tiny slice of the demands our networks are facing.
Verizon’s 5G adoption rises as Q2 success hits record high
Verizon has reported record success in the second quarter of 2021 caused by an increase in the adoption of its 5G phone service, customer and sequential wireless service revenue growth, and network reliability. The company revised its revenue and adjusted EPS guidance upward for the full year as a result.
Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon, said: “We are executing on our multipurpose network strategy and producing positive results in each of our five growth vectors, recording strong second-quarter results. With more connections on our network than anyone else, our already excellent network performance improved in the quarter and was recognized by RootMetrics as the best overall network performance for the 16th time in a row. We are also expanding our 5G Ultra-Wideband and 5G Home markets”.
He added that that the company “is excited about its momentum leading into the second half of the year”, and that it is “on track” to close the Tracfone and Verizon Media transactions.
Verizon’s Q2 2021 highlights
- US$1.40 in earnings per share (EPS); adjusted EPS*, excluding special items, of US$1.37.
- Operating revenue of US$33.8bn, a result of strong sequential wireless revenue growth.
- Net income of US$5.9bn and adjusted EBITDA* of US$12.2bn.
- Total wireless service revenue of US$16.9bn, a 5.9% increase year over year, and a 4.0 percent increase from second-quarter 2019.
- Total retail postpaid churn of 0.94 percent, and retail postpaid phone churn of 0.72 percent.
- 528,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 275,000 phone net additions, resulting in 121.3mn total retail connections.
- Total revenue of US$23.5 bn, an increase of 11.2% year over year, and an increase of 6.7% from second-quarter 2019.
- Total retail postpaid churn of 0.83%, and retail postpaid phone churn of 0.65 percent, a record-low retail postpaid phone churn outside of second-quarter 2020 and third-quarter 2020, which were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 350,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 197,000 phone net additions, driving 5G-phone adoption to approximately 20% of Consumer wireless phone customers and step-ups to premium unlimited plans.
- 92,000 Consumer Fios Internet net additions. The company's trailing 12-month total Fios Internet net addition performance is the highest since 2015.
- Total revenue of US$7.8bn, an increase of 3.7% year over year, and relatively flat from second-quarter 2019.
- Total retail postpaid churn of 1.30%, and retail postpaid phone churn of 1.07%.
- 178,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 78,000 phone net additions.
“Second quarter results were exceptional, both financially and operationally,” said Verizon Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis. “Our strong first-half performance and the momentum in our business gives us the confidence to raise our total wireless service revenue growth guidance to between 3.5% and 4%, an update from prior guidance for 2021 total wireless service revenue growth of at least 3%. We are also raising our adjusted EPS guidance* to the range of US$5.25 to US$5.35, an update from prior guidance for 2021 adjusted EPS* of US$5.00 to US$5.15”.
Also in Q2, Verizon came to an agreement with Apollo funds to sell Verizon Media, the expected close date being in the second half of 2021. Following this, the Verizon Media business classified certain assets as “Held for Sale”, which the company no longer depreciated or paid off. According to Verizon, this led to a partial quarter benefit of three cents per share in Q2, which will continue as a benefit until the deal is closed.