Verizon Focused on Densifying Network in Major Cities, CFO Tells Analysts

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verizonAppearing at the annual MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit in New York last week, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said the strike-plagued communications company is intends to continue building out its fiber, small cell and DAS networks in America’s major cities. Shammo said he expects Verizon to budget $17.2 billion to $17.7 billion per year in capital expenditures going forward for both wireline and wireless spending.

“When you think about the wireless network, the fiber network, that’s really where our concentration is right now,” RCRWireless’s Martha DeGrasse quoted Shammo telling the investors’ conference. “We continue to densify that LTE network, continue to spend capital at a pretty consistent rate, actually increasing year-over-year, and we’re doing that for the densification of LTE but also in preparation for 5G.”

“All of the wireless [capital expense] spending is densification,” Shammo added. “Although we still build macro cells, it has significantly decreased. It is all around the densification. So the majority of that capital is all going to densification.”

Shammo noted small cells are an important part of network densification, and said it can take up to two years to get a small cell deployment underway. “It is about a 24-month period of time by the time you get a location, you negotiate with the landlord, you get the fiber to that location, because every single one of our small cells has fiber backhaul to a macro cell,” Shammo said. “You need the time, plus vendors need to know exactly what your forecast is for equipment manufacturing.”

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