With mobile 5G technology poised for a commercial rollout, wireless providers continue to devise their companion digital TV strategies. Verizon 5G plans include an OTT video streaming product instead of their traditional TV services. This is a similar approach as Windstream bundling DirecTV Now with their high-speed Internet service.


Verizon Wireless. Logo copyright Verizon.

It appears the emergence of 5G is expected to increase the rate of cord-cutting. Consumers prefer to use an OTT TV streaming service; receiving only the channels they want. News about the potential Verizon 5G wireless strategy appeared earlier this week at Telecompetitor.

Verizon looks to partner with an Existing Video Streaming Provider

Big Red hopes to partner with a current TV streaming service when it brings mobile 5G to the marketplace. Since the AT&T owned DirecTV Now is likely off limits, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and possibly Hulu are likely choices. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam commented on his company’s strategy.

“Our view is we should partner with those that are in the linear game; let them be very good at what they do. We’ll add digital content to that mix and we’ll position ourselves for where we become more of an over-the-top video culture versus the linear model that we have today,” said McAdam.

Remember, Verizon also owns Yahoo and AOL (part of Oath), and expects to include digital assets from those services as part of its overall 5G strategy. They feel adding OTT TV streaming from another provider makes for a perfect “triple play.” This approach lets Verizon forego developing its own OTT streaming product.

AT&T feels differently, as evidenced by its purchase of DirecTV. Leveraging DirecTV Now as its OTT offering provides a measure of synergy in an extremely competitive marketplace. The company also offers AT&T Watch as a discount streaming service.

Verizon 5G plans for a Fourth Quarter Rollout

Verizon plans on introducing its new 5G service in the fourth quarter of 2018. They expect to announce their OTT streaming partner at that point. McAdam adds some detail on their 5G launch.

“By the time we launch in fourth quarter, we said second half of the year, but we’re going to launch by fourth quarter, we will have a partner picked out and we’ll integrate our Oath assets into their linear assets that they have and bring the full package to customers. We think that’s going to be a big hit from a customer perspective,” said McAdam.

Ultimately, expect a fierce 5G competition to develop in America between AT&T, Verizon, and the merged T-Mobile and Sprint. The FCC repeal of Net Neutrality also matters. If consumers increasingly choose a mobile 5G network over their wired home Internet service — even fixed 5G — it changes the entire industry. Expect to read about this residential broadband service transformation here at Bandwidth Place.