Q: Nitish, you have an important position within Verizon. Tell us what you do.
A: As a CX design specialist, my role is to help make sure our products meet the evolving needs of our customers and exceed their expectations. For 5G Home and LTE Home, for example, we try to make it as easy for our customers to set up and manage the equipment as possible, without needing them to be tech experts. We want them to be able to access the internet effortlessly.
Q: While conducting your customer research, what were customers saying they wanted?
A: Through research, we've heard from our consumers that they didn't want to spend a lot of time learning about the product or how the tech works. They didn't want to sift through complicated language or instructions. The majority of customers say they'd prefer not to set up their equipment themselves, yet most people don't want to wait for additional support. Aesthetically, our customers also want their equipment to blend in with their living spaces, instead of standing out or having a lot of extra cords to trip over. We've developed products that seek to address these needs. The routers and gateways we provide are not only powerful, they're reliable and simple to set up. They come with simple, end-to-end self-setup instructions with video accessed via QR code. On the equipment itself, there are easy-to-understand indicators with a minimalist, modern design that is intended to coordinate with most home decor.
Verizon's Gateway: Setting a high bar for fixed wireless access.
Q: I know you're really excited about the latest equipment, the Verizon Internet Gateway. Tell me what the Verizon Internet Gateway is and what makes it so great for accessing fixed wireless internet.
A: Our gateways provide fixed wireless internet that sends and receives the data signal locally via our 5G and 4G wireless networks, which means low latency and reliable service. The gateways are a single-box solution that connects to the mobile network and also to your personal devices via Wi-Fi to give the customer a complete wireless internet experience to give the customer flexibility as to where they keep the router in the home. Our gateways are designed to allow customers to simply power them up by themselves and start using them within minutes. Fixed wireless access internet is also accessed through our Verizon Receiver, that is designed to complement and blend into your decor. The Verizon Receiver and Internet connectivity suite (Verizon Router, Wi-Fi Extender, Verizon Internet Gateway) have won the Red Dot Design Award for Innovative Design, which is one of the biggest and most prestigious design competitions in the world. Its clean linear gesture harmonizes well with architectural lines both in and out of the home. Its size and proportion were refined to minimize visual obstruction when placed on windows while also being slim enough to be held with one hand during installation and adjustment. Subtle branding and a glow-through LED provide the only on-device information that customers need. It's designed to avoid distracting customers with excessive indication lights or visual clutter. The soft light gray color provides an optimistic but calm presence that is intended to fit in well with interior environments.
Q: So fixed wireless access is a great option to get fast internet in your area.
A: Yes, Verizon Internet Gateway connects wirelessly to our 5G Ultra Wideband (C-band) wireless network to provide Wi-Fi services in the home and a customer can set it up themselves.
The Verizon Receiver is mmWave-based 5G and can offer even better upload and download speeds.
Q: Can you tell us how the mmWave-based 5G receiver is different from the Verizon Internet Gateway?
A: In select areas, Verizon offers millimeter wave-based 5G Home services that can provide customers download speeds up to 1 Gbps, with typical download speed of 300-1000 Mbps.3 (See what internet services are available to your address.)
Q: Wow, that is amazing! How does that work?
A: Well, the Receiver can connect wirelessly to 5G Ultra Wideband mmWave-based wireless network (where available). The Receiver needs to be connected to the Verizon Router to provide Wi-Fi network connection in the home. With this option, the Receiver has to be mounted either on an interior window or wall, exterior wall or balcony where the customer gets the best 5G mmWave signal. But finding that sweet spot is not difficult. Also, when needed the Receiver can connect to our 5G Ultra Wideband (C-band) network too. Getting this functionality while making it simple to install required many innovations including an AR signal-finding app, self-orienting 5G antenna, a reversible cover to keep internal components facing the proper direction, and discrete mounting brackets with gecko-tape. Customers can also set this up themselves — we made it relatively simple. Many customers are able to install it in a window with no tools, though some customers may need a drill and a few DIY tools for wall mounting. (Watch the whole process here.) We include most tools you would need to set it up, right in the box. For those who prefer to not do it themselves, you can still request technician services to come to your home.
I've heard Wi-Fi 6E is super fast. What is Wi-Fi 6E?
Q: What is Wi-Fi 6E and does Verizon offer it?
A: Prior to Wi-Fi 6 there were only 2 primary bands that could be used for all Wi-Fi devices. The 2.4 & 5 GHz bands. These have been with us for years now and allowed devices to operate at various speeds when they connected. Wi-Fi 6E improves the performance on the existing 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, and expands the Wi-Fi bands available with a new 6 GHz that has a higher speed capability. This new band, 6 GHz, more than doubles the bandwidth 5 GHz band offers, allowing more people to use it at the same time without causing interference that slows things down for everyone. A smartphone or laptop can get over 1 Gbps when using Wi-Fi when it's 6E compatible. Not to mention that 6E provides the next standard of security with WPA3 so you can worry less about hackers intruding in your personal space. The new Verizon Internet Gateway has Wi-Fi 6E.
Q: Okay, but even I know that it's not just the equipment, it's the home and setup that can really make a difference to internet service and how your Wi-Fi performs. What about when we hear someone complaining about Wi-Fi not reaching certain parts of the home? What do you recommend for scenarios where the Wi-Fi just doesn't quite perform the way it's expected?
A: That's true, and when you set up a gateway, receiver or router, we offer tips on how to get the best performance possible. But for truly large areas, we have two Wi-Fi extenders (Verizon Wi-Fi Extender & Wi-Fi Extender Mini) that are outstanding and connect to the Verizon Router and Internet Gateways that take the Wi-Fi signal further away from the gateway or router to help cover dead Wi-Fi spots in the house. This makes it really ideal for large apartments or houses. These extenders come with a self-organizing network by default, which means once the extender is paired to a Verizon router or gateway, it automatically duplicates the Wi-Fi settings from the router so the customer doesn't have to manually connect their personal devices to a new Wi-Fi SSID every time.
High-Quality 5G antennas
Q: What is it about our 5G antennas that makes them high quality?
A: There are two products, the Verizon Receiver and Verizon Internet Gateway. The Verizon Receiver has a self-aligning 5G millimeter-wave antenna that rotates automatically to optimize the angle of the antennas in order to align with the 5G antenna/node in the area that gets users the best quality signal. The Verizon Internet Gateway has a 5G Ultra Wideband (C-band) antenna that allows the user greater freedom in keeping the equipment in their preferred location. Keeping the equipment near a window to maximize performance is always our recommendation but that is not strictly necessary.