Braxton Carter suggests Verizon eager to move to 5G because of heavy data traffic


Last month, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray called out Verizon for its claims that it’ll be first to 5G with deployments that could come as soon as 2017. Now CFO Braxton Carter has touched a bit more on the topic and explained why he thinks Verizon is so eager to move to 5G.

Speaking at an investor conference, Carter said that Verizon’s effort to move so quickly to 5G could prove costly, as the big red carrier may end up choosing an implementation that only it uses rather than the standard version used globally. He went on to say that it could be a repeat of 3G, where most of the globe used GSM tech but some carriers — Verizon included — opted for CDMA.

Carter also said that if Verizon does choose a non-standard 5G rollout but decides to switch to a standardized 5G implementation, it’ll have to pay to pull out the old tech and replace it with the standardized tech. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Why are you pushing so quick that it’s going to end up costing you much more in the long run?’”

Carter speculated that Verizon could be rushing to 5G because of heavy customer data demands on its 4G network. “And I think the answer is that Verizon continues to see massive increases in data consumption on their network, primarily driven by video.”

Carter isn’t the only T-Mobile exec that’s gone after Verizon and its 5G claims. CEO John Legere touched a bit on them last month, saying that Verizon and its network are “significantly under attack.” Meanwhile, CTO Neville Ray said that Verizon’s claim that it could deploy 5G as early as 2017 is “kind of BS.”

It’s been confirmed that T-Mobile will start 5G testing in the second half of 2016, but Neville Ray has said that we won’t see consumer benefits in 5G smartphones until 2019 or 2020. That gives three to four years for the 5G standards to be set, for the carriers to begin to roll out 5G coverage, and for phones with 5G support to start to hit the market. Until then, T-Mo will continue to beef up its 4G LTE coverage with 700MHz and 600MHz spectrum acquisitions.

Source: FierceWireless

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  • kgraham182

    No shhh, Verizon move to 5G is about data traffic. Same for every other carrier as well. T-Mobile execs need to grow up, first they said 5G is horseshit, then they are testing 5G, now its kind of BS. Make up your mind.

    • Matthew Ramsdell

      Testing and Deploying a network are two very different things. They called BS on the fact Verizon is claiming they will be deploying it as soon at 2017.

    • Dustin Roe

      Funny because 4G is about speed and method (LTE and packet switched IP). To meet 4G standards they technically should be providing a minimum of 100Mbits/Sec and it should provide 1Gbit/Sec when standing in a fixed location. 5G is about incorporating different protocols as standard communication methods based on device type (sensor, Phone, TV, Refrigerator, etc.) and matching bandwidth and protocol to the demand to ensure more devices can share the LTE-A signal without impacting each others quality of service(QOS). It is a marketing gimmick to convince people that verizon still will have the best network.

  • Brian Richards

    I would have guessed verizon is just a one trick marketing pony. They only ever say best network, best network. It’s getting hard to claim that. They don’t want to compete on price or plan innovation, so deploying early 5g good or bad gives them something to say in ads to stem the flow of customers to sprint and tmo.

    • Verizonthunder

      Former Verizon customer and I can tell you when Verizon upgraded to LTE. It was a one time upgrade with zero upgrades to maintain network demand. Felt like I was being throttled near my work two years ago, so I switched to T-Mobile and never experienced a network problem again.

  • johnbrown450

    I could’ve guessed this. I work at a convenience store and I converted a customer from Verizon to T-Mobile the other night after her mobile cigarette coupons wouldn’t load after 5 minutes on the verizon LTE network. She used my phone and said it was the fastest loading time she’s ever seen on a phone. I made a verizon fan a T-Mobile fan, and that’s tough in rural Ohio

    • Walt

      What part of ohio?

  • Glenn Gore

    Reality is, neither of these companies have anything to launch right now. They can test all they want, but what they are testing has no basis in reality until standards are set, which won’t be for years. So right now it’s all talk, launch dates, capabilities, features, nothing is set in granite, so it’s all just PR and trash talk. When the standard is set, THEN we can start listening to them talk about actual launches.

  • vinnyjr

    I carried a Verizon account for years with a grandfathered unlimited data option. I kept it because they were very rare to have. I dropped it because in my area it was useless. Live in a suburb of Boston where Verizon should have great coverage. My T-Mobile data speeds are on average inside my house are over 50mb down & 30mb up. These are daytime speeds, at night they are faster. Verizon on the other hand were pathetic, dropping to 3G constantly and when on LTE my speeds were around 5mb, that just doesn’t cut it these days. Been a T-Mobile customer for over 7 years, never been happier. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

    • maanshu

      I had an exactly same situation in 2012 and im with tmobile now for 10yrs

    • Will

      Past experiences with any of the carriers should be considered ancient history. All of the carriers (including Sprint) went on a massive spending spree and built out their networks in 2015. Verizon alone spent $17.5 billion. Coverage overall is better for everyone for all of the networks. However, you still have to test to find the network that works the best for your daily needs.

      • Acdc1a

        It’s still true of Verizon at least in my area. In 2016 you still can’t drive by the airport without dropping a call…and Sprint is a really bad joke. In South Florida you have a choice of AT&T or T-Mobile if you want service that works.

  • MadJoe

    Wasn’t LTE (Long Term Evolution) supposed to last…uhh, long term?

    • yardie

      Define long term

  • Jrunner

    You would think it would be cheaper to redo the spacing on it’s LTE towers or to add small cells in congested areas rather than put the cart before the horse. Especially since dropped calls are often part of the Verizon experience (more coverage, but when I had them years ago, or if you’re in between the two towers, good luck!) And they’re expensive for the experience you get!

  • joemail

    why are these carriers going after something new rather than fix the current model?
    Perhaps adding capacity should be priority that we consumers can get right away, for the network, it’s less taxing on infrastructure. Eventually the cost of upgrading the network should be less than what it is today in non standardized term.

    If we had awesome capacity in LTE and not to mention mobile OS’s are still not as flexible to need high speed data more than even the average of LTE. We would all be happy campers.

    • Will

      There is a coming storm of IoT devices that 5G will help to support. In 5 years, we could see billions of connected devices. Phones won’t be the largest base of devices. The current networks were not built for billions of IoT devices so the carriers must adapt.

      • joemail

        ah the cord cutters dream finally come true to remove the coax shackles.
        finally OTA and Fiber can compete.
        We will see those monopolies fall to the ground eventually. Look at cablevision for example.

        • Acdc1a

          I already made it work. Netflix still looks OK on my TV and I can stream all I want. I loved telling Comshaft where they could stick it.

      • Marco

        Buildings and cars will be the largest consumers of data on the 5G networks. IOT has way more potential connections than what we see at trade shows and conferences.

        • Will

          The potential of IoT in the medical and agricultural fields is going to usher in a new era similar to what M2M did for manufacturing.

  • Adrayven

    LTE is fast enough for me, IMO, as its often faster than my Cable internet.. lol.. my issue is making sure they have the coverage be consistent wherever I go. To me, thats far more important right now .. unless 5G somehow magically makes that a possibility, I could care less about the added speeds.

    • Acdc1a

      Unfortunately it isn’t an unlimited resource. 5G will likely manage traffic more efficiently. My guess is it’s not just speed.

  • Lolfail

    Of course Verizon is eager to move to 5G for data traffic. They have more than double the customers of the discount carrier. If T-Mobile had more than half as many as Verizon’s 138mil then they would move to 5G faster as well.

    • Marco

      I question those numbers on the fact that most people don’t own two devices unless it’s issued by a company. At&t and Verizon have been using GM vehicles and hot spot devices as adding up numbers to make them look good on the call each qtr. So to be honest it’s not all clear just how they are counting new subs.

  • IMHO

    I say hogwash! I use Verizon and it best damn network period. My Internet is super fast and I get service every where. Try again tmobile trolls. They just madd Verizon will be first to deploy 5g

    • k

      it is a great network, Verizon does a good job. But like all technology, there are limits. And those limits need to be addressed. I think the point of the matter, is that Verizon maybe jumping the gun. It is a fact that no standards have been set for 5G throughout the world. And it is a fact that Verizon and Sprint went CDMA while everyone else in the world went GSM.

  • Omar Boyer

    tmobile should do the same .
    Lte here in los angeles its a mixed bag also .
    i can be getting 30+ mbps on one street ,walk down another street still full bars lte but less than 1 mbp 2 phones and lg stylo and a galaxy s6 edge which is my moms same thing . I live in montebello and average is 2-5 , same in east la and pico rivera go downtown which is 20 mins from were i live by car 1-2 mbps tops. Long beach is about 2-5 , santa monica is real bad i was by the pier and had no service both phones yes no service walked around got 1 bar hspa ,but data didnt work LOL yes no data only calls n text .

    • guest

      It’s B12, it has a stronger signal in most places but it’s congested.

      LTE in a 5×5 of the 700mhz is a horrible idea. The solution for us in metro areas where there are B4 and B2 is Carrier Aggregation.

      T-mobile is trying to compete in coverage with Extended “Thin” LTE.

      • Acdc1a

        It’s not a horrible idea but I think expectations should be set somehow. I’m happy to have coverage in many buildings that before were just dead zones.

        • guest

          My 3 year old non-B12 phone has faster data speeds than my year and a half B12 phone.

          They should have used the 700mhz as a fallback with an older technology. That way we still have coverage inside buildings but we are back to LTE when available.

        • Omar Boyer

          yes ! same here i found my old phone (lg g3) which dont support b12 popped in my tmo sim in my house did a speed test 25 mbps! lte discovery said it was on band 4. Took out my sim put it on the newer lg g stylo lte discovery said it was on b12 freaking phone wouldnt connect to b4 ebev tho its available in my area restarted it plenty times nada did bunch of speed tests in my kitchen were i had just done the speed tests on my old phone i got 2-3 mbps UGH FRUSTRATING! Its like that all over i was thinking of going back to my lg g3 but i get no signal in lots of buildings were the stylo does .

  • Adam

    When Verizon says they are testing 5G, do they mean anything besides high band LTE?

    I don’t have a problem with deploying non-standard technologies. When determining a standard it is nice to have more than lab tests to base a decision on.

    • Android_God

      You mean like how T-Mobile tried to call HSPA 4G?

      • Adam


        • Tim

          You mean HSPA+ is 4G because speeds base on lab test confirm it was equal to 4G. 4G is anything between 3mbs to 100mbs. so yes 4G.

    • Walt

      Is LTE-Advanced considered “5G” ?

  • Android_God

    Why are these T-Mobile executives always such freaking cry babies? The advantages to 5G are there for people to read about and you can bet your ass that T-Mobile would love to be able to brag about moving to 5g but instead they sound like little crybabys.

    • guest

      It’s more like a distraction: “Look what they are doing and why, but don’t look at what we are doing or should be doing”

  • mikeZo6

    Tmo can’t compare themselves to Verizon at all period !
    Verizon phones work EVERYWHERE Tmo has gaps in coverage everywhere if anybody going to have 5G it will be Verizon

    • Rome217

      I beg to differ. I have T-Mobile for my personal phone and Verizon for my work. I travel all over the country for work and its about 60/40 split in Verizon’s favor for having service everywhere. Generally, both will have good service but there are plenty of times I end up using my personal phone because while Verizon says I have LTE available, it is too slow to even get directions on google maps. In that case I have to go to my TMo phone that is on 3g but actually gets data service.

      To the same point, I live in North Hollywood and can not use the Verizon phone at home. Dropped calls after dropped calls and I end up taking work calls on my personal phone.

      Final point, it just really depends on where you go. Each carrier has it’s fair share of gaps in service.

      • Sectime

        If you travel from city to city ok, but looking at the coverage maps the difference is striking for 4G data. TMO is ok for voice but not data.

        • Rome217

          I will say, based on my experience, Verizon shows that it has data service more often but many times data service doesn’t actually work. The coverage is there, the service, not so much. At least with TMobile, if I see it has 3g/4g/LTE service, I know for sure I have data service. Verizon has been hit or miss on that.

          Having two different carriers has been helpful though because I can cover the gaps in service for each carrier.

        • Sectime

          Not really relevant to my comment but it is your experience. Again all that 2G outside of urban areas.

        • guest

          About coverage maps, you should check this, search:

          We Assessed the Accuracy of Wireless Coverage Maps per Carrier, and the Results Disappoint

        • Sectime

          Well I use my own experience traveling for work, not coverage maps, so thanks.

        • guest

          You were talking about coverage maps and the article I’m suggesting talks about how accurate coverage maps are, and whose coverage map is more accurate to real coverage.

    • Spanky

      Try telling that to the T-Mobile cheerleader squad!

    • Jefferson Ettienne

      Prove it?

  • Sectime

    So this executive is slamming a rival for being successful? Can’t make this stuff up.