Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was a top bidder in the “C-band” airwaves auction in which it paid $53 billion at the FCC spectrum auction for the mid-band wireless spectrum.

Verizon acquires C-band spectrum

The company has started to reveal how it will use the C-band purchase, which the wireless industry has seen as an important tech that offers faster 5G speeds compared to wider-ranging low-band networks. The C-Band also can cover larger areas than the faster mmWave 5G. Verizon’s CEO confirmed that acquiring the spectrum is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to offer the company top download speeds of 1gbs.

The FCC said that total spending at the 5g auction, which involved 21 bidders, was $81.14 billion, with Verizon being the largest spender with around $53 billion, including clearing costs and incentive payments. Although most of the new spectrum will take time before it is available, the company plans to start deploying the mid-band 5G across 46 markets this year and targets 100 million by next March. Between 2022 and 2023, the number will grow to $175 people and reach more than 250 million people by 2024.

5G phones supported by the new spectrum

Current phones that include the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S21, Apple iPhone 12, and Google Pixel 5 supports the C-band 5G. Ronan Dunne, Verizon’s Consumer CEO, said that all the company’s 5G phones will easily tap into the spectrum. Although Pixel 5 and iPhone 12 will support C-band, Verizon confirmed that other 2020 5G devices, including the Z Fold 2 foldable and Galaxy s20, will not be compatible with the new waves.

Dunne said that although building for the C-band is commencing, the new network will not live until the company gains access to the spectrum in December. To get the C-band, customers should ensure they are on the right plan as it will be available to premium subscribers. Just like mmWave 5G, only those in the unlimited premium plan will use the C-band spectrum.