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Verizon scoops up more phone customers amid 5G rollout – CNET

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Verizon beats expectations for new subscriptions.

James Martin/CNET

Verizon has added more wireless customers than analysts expected as it ramps up deployment of its next-generation 5G network. The largest US wireless carrier added a total of 245,000 phone subscribers during the second quarter of 2019. Analysts had expected it to add about 163,000 new phone customers, Reuters reported. 

The subscriber boost comes as Verizon began its roll out its next-generation 5G wireless network. 5G is not only about 100 times faster than 4G, but it also allows the new network to be more responsive ushering in new applications such as VR, AR and self-driving cars. Verizon activated its 5G network in Chicago and Minneapolis in April. Last month, it expanded the service to Denver and Providence. This week it announced it had added additional cities, including Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, DC.

The company plans to have the service in more than 30 cities by the end of the year, including Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Houston, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, San Diego, and Salt Lake City.

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“Verizon made history this quarter by becoming the first carrier in the world to launch 5G mobility,” said Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg, in a statement. “We are focused on optimizing our next-generation networks and enhancing the customer experience while we head into the second half of the year with great momentum.”

All of this comes amid the backdrop of the Department of Justice’s settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint to approve their merger, which includes concessions that would set up satellite TV provider Dish Network as a fourth major nationwide wireless carrier. T-Mobile and Sprint are required to divest some Sprint assets, such as Sprint’s prepaid business, to Dish, which the company will use to become a competitor in the wireless market. Dish has long had ambitions to compete in wireless, but this deal will accelerate those plans and could potentially change the wireless market’s landscape. 

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