Verizon’s networks stand ready for increases in data traffic
Will accelerate network investment and increase capital guidance
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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – With recent increases in telecommuting and online learning, Verizon’s networks stand ready to serve customers at work, at home and remotely—including first responders and those protecting the public—when critical connectivity is needed most.
Since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the company has not seen a measurable increase in data usage—despite some businesses, schools and other organizations now asking employees to work remotely and students to take classes online. Verizon’s networks are designed and built to meet future demand and are ready should demand increase or usage patterns change significantly.
In addition, Verizon announced today that it is increasing its capital guidance range from $17 - $18 billion to $17.5 - $18.5 billion in 2020. This effort will accelerate Verizon's transition to 5G and help support the economy during this period of disruption.
“We’re looking towards the future and increasing our investments so that we’re poised to offer even more robust networks, to meet future demands, in the years to come,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon Chairman and CEO. “We are very confident in our company’s ability to meet current demands in providing a great network experience.”
Vestberg added: “Our customers—including critical government and public safety agencies—rely on us for proven reliability. I want to thank our dedicated Verizon employees who continue to work tirelessly, day in and day out, to ensure our essential communications services are available to our customers so they can stay connected where and when they need it most.”
Verizon has been closely monitoring network usage in the most impacted areas. The company will work with and prioritize network demand in assisting the needs of many U.S. hospitals, first responders and government agencies.
“Verizon operates its networks every day as though it’s a snow day—events when millions of Americans work from home while family members go online to watch videos, play games and talk and text to their friends and families,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer. “Delivering reliable networks is what we do. While this is an unprecedented situation, we know things are changing, and we are ready to adjust network resources as we better understand any shifts in demand. We have the best engineers in the world monitoring the situation closely.”
With years of steady month-over-month wireless data usage growth, as a standard practice, the company’s engineers are constantly adding capacity on the wireless and fiber networks to better serve customers. The network improvements are often recognized by independent third party reviews including recent research by RootMetrics, which has ranked Verizon first in overall performance and reliability in each of their last 13 consecutive drive test reports.
Recent technological advancements including the addition of small cells, deployment of carrier aggregation, MIMO antenna technology advancement, use of shared spectrum such as License Assisted Access (LAA) and Citizens Band Radio Spectrum (CBRS), 256 QAM, and fiber advancements have increased efficiency in the wireless and fiber networks resulting in greater capacity and speed for customers.
Networks that our customers count on
“We continually evaluate peak data usage times and build our networks to stay ahead of that demand,” said Malady. “While we may see the hours where data usage shifts from evening to daytime, our network peak is built to manage evolving demands. While it is not clear yet how having millions of additional people working from home will impact usage patterns, we are ready to address changes in demand, if needed.”
Like any crisis or significant event in which additional network resources may be needed, the company is able to deploy additional resources to add capacity and has a fleet of mobile assets including portable COLTs (cells on light trucks) and COWs (cells on wheels/trucks), mobile charging stations, and more to support first responders and their mission critical needs.
In addition to its wireless and fiber networks, Verizon also operates a global IP backbone network spanning six continents. It is built with resiliency in mind; it is one of the most connected Internet backbones in the world, offers speeds of up to 100 GB, and deploys mesh technology to enable multiple diverse paths for network traffic as required. Performance is constantly monitored by Verizon's five global Network Operations Centers, 24 x 7, 365.
For first responders and consumers
We offer priority access to our network for first responders and public safety officials. Our Fios broadband customers always have unlimited access to home broadband service for their work from home or remote learning needs. Our wireless business and consumer customers have access to competitively priced unlimited wireless plans and can use online tools to make changes to accounts or device upgrades 24 x 7, which includes access to virtual tech coaches and assistance.
Verizon is encouraging business and government customers, in particular, to review their continuity plans. Proper planning can help mitigate impact and help minimize potential business disruptions.
Here are five strategies businesses should consider:
- Prepare your networks for a remote workforce
- Implement technology that enables remote collaboration
- Prioritize and develop a critical infrastructure plan
- Use tools to give customers confidence and access
- Secure both physical and network access points
In this communication we have made forward-looking statements. These statements are based on our estimates and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include the information concerning our possible or assumed future results of operations. Forward-looking statements also include those preceded or followed by the words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “hopes” or similar expressions. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We undertake no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements, except as required by law. Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The following important factors, along with those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: cyber attacks impacting our networks or systems and any resulting financial or reputational impact; natural disasters, terrorist attacks or acts of war or significant litigation and any resulting financial or reputational impact; disruption of our key suppliers’ or vendors' provisioning of products or services; material adverse changes in labor matters and any resulting financial or operational impact; the effects of competition in the markets in which we operate; failure to take advantage of developments in technology and address changes in consumer demand; performance issues or delays in the deployment of our 5G network resulting in significant costs or a reduction in the anticipated benefits of the enhancement to our networks; the inability to implement our business strategy; adverse conditions in the U.S. and international economies; changes in the regulatory environment in which we operate, including any increase in restrictions on our ability to operate our networks; our high level of indebtedness; an adverse change in the ratings afforded our debt securities by nationally accredited ratings organizations or adverse conditions in the credit markets affecting the cost, including interest rates, and/or availability of further financing; significant increases in benefit plan costs or lower investment returns on plan assets; changes in tax laws or treaties, or in their interpretation; and changes in accounting assumptions that regulatory agencies, including the SEC, may require or that result from changes in the accounting rules or their application, which could result in an impact on earnings.