Verizon Will Offer Skinny Bundle Video In 5G Wireless Test, CEO Says

Lowell McAdam

Verizon plans to offer a skinny bundle video service via 5G wireless transmissions in early 2017 to test the speedy technology in some “relatively small towns,” CEO Lowell McAdam said today at the UBS Global Media and Telecommunications Conference.

“Our plan is to offer 1Gb broadband service and an OTT [streaming] bundle,” he says.

He offered no update on the status of Verizon’s plan to buy Yahoo’s assets and blend them with AOL. But he says that a plan to blend content about sports, news, entertainment, finance with his Go90 short form videos plus a skinny video bundle “gives us an opportunity to monetize content across platforms.”

Unlike AT&T, which is focusing on long form content with its plan to buy Time Warner, Verizon’s offerings will mostly be “snackable and internet based” which he says “resonate with a younger group.”

Still, the 5G effort would not be limited to communities where Verizon currently offers FiOS wired services, McAdam says. That suggests Verizon still hopes to grow its TV delivery capabilities even after it halted the expansion of FiOS to additional markets.

McAdam says that Verizon will test a “pre commercial architecture” at no charge to help it figure out the distances it can reach with 5G — which telcos hope will enable them to compete with cable companies that dominate broadband.

“I call it wireless fiber,” the CEO says.

The test would transmit video and other data via Verizon’s firber optic network and then use 5G to transmit into wirelessly as “the last leg into the home.”

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