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Verizon (VZ) Rolls Out 5G Service in Chicago and Minneapolis

Zacks Equity Research

Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently launched 5G Ultra Wideband network in select locations of Chicago and Minneapolis, ahead of schedule. Notably, the move is in sync with the company’s strategy to increase the tally of cities under the 5G service coverage to more than 30 in 2019. Simultaneously, the company is offering Motorola Solutions, Inc.’s MSI exclusive moto z3 powered by 5G moto mod, making it the first in the world to offer commercial 5G mobile service along with a 5G-enabled smartphone for customers.

It’s worth noting that Verizon had rolled out the world’s first commercial broadband 5G service in select markets in October last year. Verizon 5G Home service was built on an early version of 5G standard while the 5G Ultra Wideband technology will now use the global standard and latest device hardware for the delivery of added capabilities to customers. As a matter of fact, this will enable the company to offer download speeds of about 450 Mbps, with highest speeds capped at 1 Gbps with latency less than 30 milliseconds.

Verizon has systematically invested in 5G technology to gain a foothold in the industry. The company expects to capitalize on the impending 5G boom and outsmart competition. In this regard, its focus on upgrading the 5G network will result in the enhancement of 5G Ultra Wideband speed, network performance and latency.

Details of the Service Coverage

In Chicago, the company’s 5G Ultra Wideband service is available in West Loop and South Loop areas, including Willis Tower, Union Station, Millennium Park and The Chicago Theatre among others.

In Minneapolis, the service is available in Downtown areas like U.S. Bank Stadium, Downtown West and Downtown East among others. Apart from these, the service is also available in locations like the Minneapolis Central Library, the Mill City Museum, Target Center and First Avenue venues, areas of Elliot Park as well as in the Verizon store in The Mall of America.

As a matter of fact, customers availing the company’s 5G service along with the 5G-enabled smartphone within the twin cities will enjoy the faster download speed of 5G Ultra Wideband network while automatically shifting to 4G LTE network once they move to any other city.

Our Take

The company has a fundamental growth outlook based on increasingly favorable prospects for its Wireless business and the possibility of improved Wireline operations. The company is likely to keep gaining from its focus on expanding in the retail post-paid market, increasing smartphone penetration and selling more Internet devices such as tablets.

In the past three months, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has returned 3.8% compared with the industry’s growth of 1.4%.

However, in an effort to expand its customer base, Verizon is spending heavily on promotion and offering lucrative discounts, which is weighing on margins.

Key Picks

A couple of better-ranked stocks in the same space are CenturyLink, Inc. CTL and Telenav, Inc. TNAV. Both these companies carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

CenturyLink surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 23.40%.

Telenav outpaced estimates in each of the preceding four quarters, the average earnings surprise being 23.70%.

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