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Verizon Signs Deals With Crown Castle, SBA To Accelerate Deployment Of C-Band Equipment

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By Catherine Sbeglia

To make the most of the US$45.45 billion worth of C-Band spectrum that it recently acquired, Verizon has signed deals with Crown Castle and SBA Communications to accelerate the deployment of C-band equipment.

Because C-Band spectrum requires new network equipment to be placed on existing towers, Verizon sought additional agreements with Crown Castle and SBA, which both already host Verizon infrastructure equipment, to establish terms for leasing space on existing towers for C-band equipment. Further, the new deals include improvements to processing, such as the reduction of forms and the minimization of legal reviews, allowing Verizon engineering teams to expedite deployment of C-band equipment.

Crown Castle CEO Jay Brown expressed excitement about the opportunity to work with Verizon on the agreement, which he stated is “designed to deliver significant value for both parties over the next 10 years.” He added that Crown Castle believes that its “ability to offer a comprehensive solution at scale provides us the best opportunity to deliver value as we support [Verizon’s] wireless infrastructure needs.”

Verizon secured an average of 161 megahertz of C-band spectrum nationwide in the C Band auction. The midband spectrum provides a middle ground between capacity and coverage and will allow Verizon to offer both increased mobile 5G coverage and home broadband services to millions more consumers and businesses.

“The addition of C-band spectrum to our already robust spectrum portfolio means we will be able to provide the differentiated service of 5G Ultra Wideband mobility service to an additional 250 million customers and, for the first time, 50 million additional customers will have choice in their internet provider as we bring 5G Home to more places,” said senior VP of engineering at Verizon, Heidi Hemmer. “These new agreements with our tower companies allow us to work very efficiently to pre-position all needed equipment on existing towers on our best-in-class network.”

In a previous conversation with RCR Wireless News, Hemmer said Verizon expects to hit that 250-million-POPs-covered mark sometime in 2024, while CEO Hans Vestberg told investors that the carrier intends to pump another US$10 billion into deploying C Band over the next two years to put the spectrum into use as quickly as possible.

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