Hello and thanks for reading.


In many ways, North America is leading the charge on technology.  However, one area that we might have been a little slow is in the use of cellular-based connectivity for the home.  Most of us have a wired Internet connection for all of our kids to play Fortnite and browse YouTube on.


That may change, and faster than you think …


Verizon announced this week that parts of 4 US cities can now use 5G technology to replace their existing landline connections.  The service is reasonably priced and offers speeds that would allow most people to easily make the switch (and in fact, it may be faster than what is offered today by cable/DSL in their area).


To expedite this deployment, the FCC has started to make it harder for local governments to drag their feet on 5G by placing mandates to force faster approvals and even to force access to government-owned equipment for 5G equipment.  Not to be outdone, AT&T is trying to leapfrog over Verizon by offering 5G connectivity for mobile devices in as many as 12 cities before the end of the year.


What does this mean for landline providers?

For now, not much, but you have to know there are some nervous executives in many companies now.  Internet connectivity is often the main reason why people stay connected for other services, such as home phone and cable.  By moving those customers over to wireless, landline providers risk the chance of losing more than just the revenue from your monthly Internet connection.


However, I think this is just a natural progress.  As little as 10 years ago, Wi-Fi was not common in most homes and was not widely available in most public areas.  Now, just about every mall, airport and office waiting room offers free Wi-Fi access to customers.  People have just grown used to the idea of not being locked down by cables …


Do keep in mind two important things:

  • 5G really is about mobile, so the likelihood is that most of the gains in traffic will be from devices that were likely already using cellular connectivity, or in the case of self-driving cars, ones that could never use a fixed connection.
  • 5G won’t be everywhere that quickly. They will focus most on the urban cores, so don’t expect it in the suburbs for a while.


However, expect to see more announcements about 5G over the next 12-24 months …. It is coming.