On today’s Up To Speed Live, host Diana Alvear, shared the following updates live from our Basking Ridge, NJ, studio:
Catching up with Mike McLaughlin
If one thing has been made clear since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it is that strong and reliable internet and mobile phone connections have never been more important. Last week, we talked to George Riggins and Julie Slattery about how we continue to work to build out our networks.
Today, Diana spoke with engineer Mike McLaughlin, who is part of the team that builds and maintains our 5G network.
Mike explained that our 5G network will allow for lower latency, larger bandwidth and deliver more data faster. Applications that used to only be available via a hardwired connection can now be done wirelessly — including downloading a movie or game for kids — in a fraction of the time. Most exciting of all, there are a lot of use cases that haven’t been developed yet that will be coming soon.
Mike shared that when not building out 5G networks, he loves spending time with his family, including his young daughter. He was walking with her the other day when he warned “Careful, your baby carriage could tip over.” She replied “Dad, it’s not going to tip over. The bottom of the carriage is too heavy.” It appears those McLaughlin engineer genes have been successfully passed on.
Talking C-band and 5G with Heidi Hemmer
While we’re on the subject of our best-in-class networks, Up To Speed host Andy Choi caught up with Heidi Hemmer, Senior Vice President of Engineering, on what’s happening with our C-band spectrum purchase. Heidi used a helpful analogy to help explain our efforts to non-tech-savvy folks: “The government has given us the space to build what amounts to a new 5G ‘road.’ Now it’s up to us to design and engineer it, retrofit existing infrastructure, lay down the asphalt and paint the lines. The space we’ve been given is large enough for a wide and fast road but to take full advantage we’ll have to upgrade the road itself and the ‘cars’ (devices) that will use the road.”
Heidi also talked about our overall 5G strategy. We were first with millimeter wave, a high-band spectrum that is incredibly fast and offers amazing customer experiences. The challenge is that the signal doesn’t travel as far so it works best in concentrated areas, like campuses and warehouses for our enterprise customers and for public spaces that have a lot of mobile traffic.
Then, in 2020, we built out our 5G Nationwide network, which uses existing 4G LTE and is about the same in terms of speed. This was able to bring 5G to many new customers.
The next step is to utilize our massive C-band spectrum purchase — the midband range — to fill in the gaps between our 5G Nationwide and our 5G millimeter wave, for both mobility and home. Everything we build today is built on a rock solid 4G network platform so customers will get a great experience using both our 4G LTE and 5G UW.
“Just because you have rights to the spectrum doesn’t mean you have the best network,” reminded Heidi. “We have the best engineering team in the world. That’s why there really is only one best network.”
The broken phone deal returns
Now that we understand why our network is so impressive, let’s look at why it’s a great time for customers to make the switch to Verizon. Back in April, we launched our unprecedented broken phone trade-in offer. Now it’s back and better than ever. New and existing customers adding a new smartphone line can get up to $800 towards our best 5G phones with a select trade-in and select Unlimited plans. New customers can also get up to $500 to help cover their costs to switch.
With promotions like this, there’s never been a better time to switch to Verizon.
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