For Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg, The 5G Future Is Now

For Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg, the future is now—5G. The telecom giant intends to launch its 5G capabilities in more than 30 U.S. cities this year.
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg Credit: Verizon

For Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg, the future is now—5G. Indeed, the telecom giant intends to launch its 5G Ultra Wideband Network in more than 30 U.S. cities this year—Verizon 5G Mobility will launch in the first half of 2019, and Verizon 5G Home will expand coverage to more markets in the second half of 2019.

Not only will 5G Mobility and 5G Home transform the network experience for customers, the technologies will also meaningfully boost Verizon’s bottom line starting in 2021, Vestberg in February told attendees of an investor conference. The company is also launching its Mobile Edge Computing platform, which will enable real-time enterprise applications, is expected to launch in the fourth quarter.

“Today, we outlined our vision of the future of Verizon,” he said. “This is our commitment to be on the leading edge of technology to provide customers with the best network experiences in the world, to deliver growth in revenue and profitability, to expand our 5G leadership, to sustain value to shareholders, and to enable services that benefit society and make the world a better place.”

Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the foundation of 5G, already covers 2.6 million square miles, Vestberg said. Coverage includes LTE Advanced features in 1,500 markets across the country, which provide significantly more capacity and faster peak data speeds.

The company is also making progress on the Verizon Intelligent Edge Network (iEN), the multipurpose network that serves as the foundation for the company’s network-as-a-service strategy. Verizon is also rolling out its One Fiber program in more than 60 cities across the U.S., with more than 25,000 Verizon-owned fiber miles expected to be deployed by year-end.

One Fiber opens new revenue opportunities while also bringing cost efficiencies, the CEO said. At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in January, Vestberg waxed even more eloquently about Verizon’s 5G—the driver of what he calls the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

“5G is way more than just a step up from current wireless technology,” he said. “It’s a quantum leap that will bring an era of radically new possibilities across all areas of technology.”

Vestberg at the show introduced the eight “currencies” of 5G: speed/throughput; mobility; connected devices; Internet of Things; energy efficiency; service deployment; latency and reliability. He said these would “unleash highly connective technologies and blend physical and digital realms like never before.”

Vestberg also officially launched Verizon’s “Built on 5G Challenge,” calling on innovators to create new solutions that leverage 5G connectivity “to transform the way people live, work and play.” Up to $1 million in total will be awarded to the winning innovators to develop their concepts on live 5G networks located at Verizon’s various 5G labs across the country, where technical advisors will provide training and support to winning innovators.

Prior to assuming the role of CEO in August and the role of chairman in March, Vestberg served as Verizon’s chief technology officer and president of Global Networks from 2017, with responsibility for further developing the architecture for Verizon’s fiber-centric networks. Before joining Verizon in April 2017, Vestberg served for six years as president and CEO of Ericsson.


He’s No. 13 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies

Headquarters: New York City

Age: 53

Education:  Uppsala University (Sweden)

First joined company: 2017

Prior to joining Koch: Ericsson

Named CEO: 2018


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