Verizon Business sees momentum in private business wireless networks

Oct. 30, 2023
The service provider’s business unit finds private networks a potential growth area as it struggles with traditional service revenues.
Verizon Business is hot on the trail of offering its business customers private wireless networks. The provider’s private wireless network solution allows business customers to add devices to their internal network IP addressing to be managed by their support personnel.

During its third-quarter earnings call, Verizon's CEO Hans Vestberg told investors that private wireless network momentum is growing.

“Regarding private networks, we see demand for the product continue to grow, especially those solutions built with licensed spectrum, which provides a more secure and differentiated experience for the end users,” he said. “Businesses are increasingly looking to us for private network solutions, helping to grow our sales funnel and scale the number of installations each quarter.”

Ramping up

Since its private network offering is still new, Verizon is conducting a proof of concept with plans to conduct a commercial launch. However, the provider did not offer a specific timeline other than to say that interest in private networking is growing.

Today, Verizon has cut the lead times on the proof-of-concept. It has built an ecosystem of products, including infrastructure, modems, shipset, phones and radios that can serve different use cases.

“We have ramped up a fantastic funnel,” Vestberg said. “We've started getting more and more deals every quarter. They start sort of like a Wi-Fi substitution. And then when it works, let's say, you have one big logistic company, make it in one logistics center, and then they do it in all.”

He added that the company does not expect private networking to impact its revenue until 2025.

“What is important is that this is an area we've never been into,” Vestberg said. “This is a new market we can address by running private networks for different industries and large enterprises nationwide. With our distribution and technology, this is an excellent opportunity to see how we use our spectrum.”

Mobility rising

During the third quarter, mobility services remained a dominant growth driver for Verizon Business. The service provider reported that business wireless service revenue was $3.4 billion, up 2.9 percent yearly.

Verizon cited continued substantial net additions and pricing actions implemented in recent quarters. The business group delivered 151,000 phone net adds, reaching our ninth consecutive quarter above 125,000.

“While the macroeconomic environment is uncertain and businesses are more cautious than a year ago, mobility remains a top investment priority for our business customers,” Vestberg said. “We expect to continue to deliver strong volumes and expand our relationships by leveraging our position as the wireless market share leader for small and medium businesses, large enterprises and public customers.”

While Verizon Business’ wireless gains were compelling, the provider saw revenue declines in the overall unit.

Total Verizon Business revenue was $7.5 billion in the third quarter of 2023, a decrease of 4.0 percent year over year. Lower wireline revenue and lower wireless equipment revenue were partially offset by higher wireless service revenue.

For related articles, visit the Business Topic Center.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

To stay abreast of fiber network deployments, subscribe to Lightwave’s Service Providers and Datacom/Data Center newsletters.