Verizon weathers the COVID-19 crisis while accelerating some of its 5G deployments

Verizon sign MWCLA19
Due to its previous network investments, Verizon is able to keep up with increasing bandwidth demands during the coronavirus pandemic. (FierceWireless)

During the first 90s days of the coronavirus pandemic, Verizon maintained its pre-COVID-19 reliability levels despite spikes and shifts in demand.

As millions of employees moved to work-from-home (WFH), which included Verizon shifting 115,000 of its 135,000 employees to WFH, the telco said it its engineers were able to keep up with or, in some cases accelerate, the deployments of its 5G network.  

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According to the latest Verizon COVID-19 Network Reliability Report, which covers March 1 to May 31, Verizon's continued network investments allowed it to support the increased usage across different parts of its network—compared to typical pre-COVID-19 geographic usage locations—and during different peak usage hours. With WFH, remote learning and more online gaming, service providers saw their peak usage hours shift from the evenings to earlier in the day during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“In crisis situations, communication is critical. We have experienced it throughout COVID-19 when spikes in volume on our networks demonstrated the importance of connecting with critical resources, colleagues, friends and family,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer, in a statement. “Reliability is in our DNA and we prepare all year long for emergencies. The strength, reliability, and consistent performance of our networks has been very evident to our customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am very proud of the reliability and performance of our networks throughout the first three months of the pandemic. Our wireless network was equally reliable during March, April and May compared to January and February. The height of network reliability of our Fios fiber optic network occurred in February, and again in March, when massive changes in customer usage began as tens of millions of people and students transitioned to working and learning from home.”

Verizon also said that it rapidly turned up connectivity at multiple federal, state and local command centers as well as at remote testing and triage centers. It stood up services to thousands of doctors that were working remotely and expanded telehealth options by offering more access to tablets and devices for patients.

For its wireless network, Verizon expanded the number of lines for first responders. Verizon also accelerated its fiber deployments due to shelter-in-place policies.

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