Verizon's 5G sales pitch: Free TV

Verizon wants 5G to become a serious competitor to broadband internet. And it thinks free TV will do the tri...

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 9:12 AM
Updated: Nov 7, 2018 11:53 AM

Verizon wants 5G to become a serious competitor to broadband internet. And it thinks free TV will do the trick.

The telecom company will start selling 5G service later this year. It won't appear in smartphones for some time, but 5G will be fast enough to provide internet service to a home. To entice customers to sign on, Verizon will offer a kind of double-play service that Comcast and its competitors offer: Television.

Partnering with Apple and Google, Verizon will give 5G internet customers a choice: YouTube TV service or an Apple TV. Verizon has not announced the terms, but Bloomberg reports that Verizon will offer them free.

The 5G double-play offer is particularly notable because Verizon has resisted media mergers. AT&T launched WatchTV, a free live television package for 4G customers, days after it bought Time Warner. Verizon wants to stick to digital, with its Yahoo and AOL businesses.

That could give AT&T a leg up. AT&T, which owns CNN, is Verizon's biggest 5G competitor, and it is launching its 5G network in several US cities this year, including Charlotte, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Atlanta. Verizon announced Tuesday that it has added Indianapolis as its fourth 5G city, joining Houston, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

Unlike Verizon, AT&T has not yet announced any TV packages for its 5G internet service.

What is 5G?

5G promises speeds about 10 times faster than 4G. It is expected to appear in smartphones in 2020.

Meanwhile, wireless companies hope 5G can become a cheaper competitor to broadband. Laying cable is extremely expensive — so expensive that Google dramatically slowed its Fiber expansion and Verizon completely halted its FiOS growth. (AT&T continues to slowly bring high-speed U-Verse fiber broadband to new cities.)

5G is expensive, too. In addition to 4G's giant cell towers that beam signals over long distances, 5G will require boxes that are essentially miniature cell towers to be placed all around coverage zones. They'll have to be put inside office buildings and homes, too, because 5G wireless frequencies are so high that they'll bounce off walls and windows that low-frequency 4G signals easily travel through.

Still, digging up and repaving streets, obtaining permits and land rights and delivering fiber cables directly to people's homes is way costlier than installing 5G radios in customers' houses. Wireless companies hope that will give them an advantage against cable mainstays like Comcast and Charter.

Verizon and AT&T plan to go nationwide with 5G by the beginning of next decade, potentially making them a broadband competitor in every city — something they were unable to do with FiOS and U-Verse.

If they have to throw in free TV to reach their goals, that's a deal they'll make every time.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
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Shelby54227
Grant52130
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Morgan45934
Clinton4093
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Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98675

Reported Deaths: 3652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18006522
Cuyahoga13269498
Hamilton9493253
Lucas5207321
Montgomery422991
Summit3486220
Marion291945
Butler286163
Mahoning2502255
Pickaway238042
Stark1783139
Warren174238
Lorain171378
Columbiana163460
Trumbull1500106
Fairfield133231
Delaware127319
Licking122449
Clark113314
Lake108738
Wood101358
Clermont90211
Medina89635
Miami81938
Tuscarawas77214
Portage74661
Allen71844
Greene66212
Belmont61426
Richland59611
Mercer59113
Erie56427
Ashtabula55946
Geauga55244
Wayne52558
Ross4504
Huron3935
Darke38527
Ottawa37126
Sandusky36816
Athens3561
Hancock3553
Madison35310
Holmes3276
Lawrence2670
Auglaize2446
Union2371
Scioto2221
Muskingum2211
Jefferson2192
Putnam20217
Washington20022
Knox1997
Seneca1963
Coshocton1906
Shelby1864
Preble1802
Crawford1725
Morrow1682
Hardin16112
Champaign1592
Clinton1586
Highland1481
Fulton1471
Logan1452
Wyandot1428
Ashland1403
Defiance1394
Williams1323
Brown1262
Perry1213
Guernsey1167
Henry1152
Hocking1159
Carroll1105
Fayette1100
Monroe9118
Pike760
Jackson730
Van Wert711
Paulding650
Gallia621
Adams592
Meigs360
Vinton302
Morgan250
Harrison241
Noble160
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