Verizon Communications Inc. said limits on its 5G expansion haven’t hurt its ability to connect customers, though the wireless company is still waiting for firm government rules on where its signals can reach in the months ahead.
Chief Executive Hans Vestberg said Tuesday that the company already covers 95 million people with the high-speed service despite temporary cell-signal limits near airport runways. Verizon VZ and rival AT&T Inc. T have faced pushback from U.S. air-safety regulators in recent months as they expand their fifth-generation networks to include new C-band frequencies, which provide faster internet speeds and more network capacity to address dense clusters of subscribers.
“We have the highest assurance from the White House that this will be resolved very soon,” Vestberg said in a conference call with analysts. “It doesn’t impact our business at the moment, but clearly we want this to be resolved as soon as possible, so the pressure is on everybody involved to make this fix.”
Verizon said about a third of its core customer base had already upgraded to 5G-capable phones. The company last year committed to pay about $53 billion for licenses and associated auction costs to secure the C-band airwaves in question, which form the cornerstone of its 5G strategy.
The company said Tuesday that additional spending on C-band network improvements will reach $5 billion to $6 billion this year, the biggest chunk of an estimated $10 billion budget through 2023.
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