The Chiefs, Niners and our network engineers prepare for Miami's big event.
From San Francisco to Kansas City to South Florida, football excitement is running high. The players and coaches on the 49ers and Chiefs have worked all season to reach this point.
But they’re not the only ones.
Our network engineers have been on the ground in Miami for two years to ensure the network is ready for the big game. That includes building all kinds of amazing fan experiences at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium with 5G Ultra Wideband service all around the venue.
“Preparing for this game takes a lot of people,” said engineer Ramesh Toolsie. “From design, construction, implementation, testing and troubleshooting, our team made it happen.”
Benefits that will last long after the big game
There are dozens of 5G nodes in and around the stadium, hundreds of antennas, some even under the seats. The good news is that these network investments are not temporary.
“We’ve invested $80 million to enhance our capacity,” said engineer Sergei Mislevy. “These are improvements that our customers and visitors can enjoy long after the big game throughout the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area.”
Stay tuned for much more from Miami over the next week as we march toward the big game.
Our jaw-dropping 5G Pro Bowl experience and a speed test shocker: T-Mobile’s 5G vs Verizon 4G LTE.
This year’s Pro Bowl, NFL’s all-star game, took place in Orlando, FL, last Sunday. But 200 miles south in Miami, fans at the Verizon 5G Stadium experienced it like no one else.
We live-streamed a unique 360-degree view of the game in 8K over our 5G connection. This is the first time in history a game like this has been delivered this way - another first for Verizon. The immersive experience transported viewers in the Verizon 5G Stadium onto the Pro Bowl field in Orlando, while showcasing future potential applications for 5G.
“Watching the video stream inside the dome over our 5G network was very cool because you are immersed in the technology,” said Danny Driggers, Verizon engineer. “You feel like you’re there. You can feel every bit of it. It’s absolutely the future.”
“We are tremendously excited and proud to be part of this team that was the first ever to deliver 8k content over 5G,” said Verizon engineer Arleny Valle. “Not only that, we had actual players sit with us and comment about how groundbreaking this truly is and how they would love to bring that content home with them.”
A shocking speed test result
We put T Mobile’s 5G network to the test - an actual speed test - against our 4G LTE network.
That’s right, their 5G vs. our 4G LTE. It shouldn’t be close and it wasn’t.
Our 4G LTE network blew T-Mobile’s 5G away, showing once again that you can call your network whatever you want, but only our Verizon 5G network is truly built right. That’s how we’re offering best-in-class 5G fan experiences in cities across the country.
That includes Miami, the host of this year’s Super Bowl, where customers with 5G-capable smartphones can access our 5G Ultra Wideband network in places like Hard Rock Stadium, Miami’s Bayfront Park, as well as around airports and parts of downtown. For the first time, customers will be able to access a 5G network with a commercially available 5G device inside the stadium during the Super Bowl.
The lesson here? 5G? 4G? Worry less about the number and more about the carrier.
A path to 5G on the EasyMile autonomous shuttle.
“What is that?”
That thought may have crossed your mind if you’ve seen the rather unique looking vehicle motoring around the Basking Ridge, NJ, campus. That’s the EasyMile autonomous shuttle, designed to take folks from HQ to The Ridge meeting and events space a half mile down the road. And yes, “autonomous” means there is no one actively driving the vehicle, though as a safety precaution there is always a human on board monitoring the ride.
The EasyMile, which can carry up to seven passengers (including the “driver”), is special in a number of other ways.
“What gets me excited about the autonomous shuttle is that we’re using it in a live environment,” said Rob LoMonaco of the Sourcing team. “Other competitors out there are all in a remote, hermetically-sealed track.”
However, the EasyMile serves another important purpose beyond moving people: It also functions as a rolling high-tech 5G lab.
“Right now we have a 5G stream on the shuttle,” said Nicki Palmer, Chief Product Development Officer “That’s a great example of something that can be used on autonomous buses and other shuttles, and for some of our major enterprise customers that have similar needs. Over time, we plan to introduce multi-access edge computing to this platform and different types of infotainment that are a little more interactive.”
For now, our self-driving shuttle is one-of-a-kind, but Nicki knows it won’t be forever. “I think our children and our children’s children will be living in a much different vehicular world. This starts to get you thinking what that world will be like and how Verizon will be a part of it.”
Coining Our New Purpose
V Teamers Inspire Change by Sharing Purpose Coins
In November, Hans announced a new social responsibility platform and purpose at the Leadership Forum: We create the networks that move the world forward. With a focus on digital inclusion, climate protection, and human prosperity, he also announced a collective goal of 2.5 million volunteer hours by Verizon employees by 2025. Then, Hans handed each leader a purpose coin and told them to pass it along to an individual who they believed was moving the world forward.
In the past three months, those coins have been transferred over 330 times all around the world. With each exchange is a story of a Purpose Champion who is building human networks, fostering community, and working to make the world a better place. At the Verizon store in La Quinta, CA, Vincente Arzola was given a coin by Robert Fisher for his customer-centric attitude. Denise Scholz received a coin from Dirk Schlotter for her work in helping to increase international renewable power coverage from 40 to 75 percent. Whether it’s sustaining community relationships or creating sustainable solutions, the good deeds of Purpose Champions are being recognized everywhere.
Do you know someone who deserves a purpose coin? While the coins are making their way from V Teamer to V Teamer, we’re looking for stories of purpose-driven actions and employees working to make a difference. Send an email to email@example.com, and share your story on social media with the hashtag #ForwardTogether.
Upcoming BUILD event celebrates service and activism.
This Friday, BUILD by Yahoo is presenting “Inspiring Activism,” a live-stream event celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and discussing Verizon’s ever-increasing commitment to social responsibility. The broadcast will feature a panel of industry leaders and activists who are making positive changes in the world: Christy Pambianchi, Verizon’s Chief Human Resources officer; Cindy Trinh, a photographer, visual journalist, and podcast host; Karine Jean-Pierre, Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn and NBC political analyst; and Anastasia Kuznetsova, mental health advocate and co-founder of Made of Millions. Tune in this Friday, Jan. 17, at 2 PM ET to BUILD’s livestream page to watch the event.
Feeling inspired this upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend? If you’re interested in volunteering or getting involved in your community, check out verizon.com/volunteer to find out how you can give back.
More Than a Tagline!
“5G Built Right.”
They’re the words we’ve used since we were the first in the world to launch 5G less than a year ago. But what do they really mean?
“5G Built Right is more than just a tagline,” said Chief Marketing Officer Diego Scotti. “We said that we were going to build the most powerful 5G experience for America, and that’s what we’re doing.”
At the same time, our competitors are making noise with similar claims about their own 5G networks. Does that mean they’re offering the same thing?
“T-Mobile is technically offering real 5G,” said Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady, during our 2020 Kickoff Webcast. “The only thing is that it’s like a basketball game: It’s easier to make layups than three-pointers. We’re trying to make three-pointers. They’re looking for an easy way to deploy 5G initially, but if you look at the customer benefit it’s not a lot -- if any -- over what we’re offering with 4G.”
“We’re proud of our network,” said Verizon Network Operations Senior Manager Jon Edwards,” said Verizon Network Operations Senior Manager Jon Edwards. “It shows every day, when you open up your phone and download a movie or talk to your friends across the country.”
In 2020, you can expect more of the same as we build out our networks, including 5G, 4G LTE, fiber, and even the connections between us, the people behind the networks.
That’s because those words -- “Built Right” -- are at the center of all we do, as we continue to create the networks that move the world forward.
For a closer look at our 2019 milestones and our visions for 2020, click here.