When it comes to its fiber deployments, Verizon is hitting its stride, according to Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. Speaking at Thursday's Goldman Sachs 28th Annual Communacopia Conference, Vestberg said that Verizon is now deploying 1,400 route miles per month, which means the telco has found another gear over the past few months.
In June at another investor conference, Verizon CTO Kyle Malady said Verizon was continuing its quest of adding a thousand route miles of fiber per month across 60 cities.
As part of its Fiber One project, two years ago Verizon signed a $1.1 billion, three-year fiber and hardware purchase agreement with Corning to build a next-generation fiber platform to support 4G LTE, 5G, and gigabit backhaul for 5G networks and fiber-to-the premise deployments to residential and business customers. Also in 2017, Verizon also announced a $300 million fiber deal with Prsymian Group to provide additional fiber for its wireline and wireless services.
Verizon's One Fiber project combined all of the telco's fiber needs and planning into one project. It also allows Verizon to plot out its fiber uses cases and purchasing plans across all of its sectors.
Having fiber deep is key for supporting Verizon's radio access networks (RAN) as well as provisioning an increasing number of small cells. It's also an important element of Verizon's Intelligent Edge Network (IEN.) Verizon first announced its IEN two years ago as a means to move away from its TDM networking to a more simplified Ethernet-based network.
"The whole Intelligent Edge Network was basically all of the way from the data center to the access point we have one unique network for redundancy. And then, of course, in between fiber to the access point and then you decide if its 5G, 4G, or fiber to the home or fiber to curb, or fiber to the enterprise," Vestberg said. "In that, the fiber deployment for us was extremely important."
Vestberg said that while there are be peaks and valleys going forward, 1,400 route miles per month is right where Verizon needs to be over the next couple of years to build out the fiber that it needs for nationwide 5G, as well as other services and applications.
"In think in a fairly short time period we have built up an enormous, large project for deploying the fiber," he said. "I think we're in a good spot right now. There are always challenges when you're going to dig the streets or something like that. I'm not taking that away, but clearly I think we have a very good team right now executing. We've gone from zero route miles a month to 1,400 miles a month right now.
"I think that the team is doing a great job. We push them all of the time. We want to do even more, but I think this is the level we want to sustain."