Verizon is proving to all of us that 5G millimeter wave can effectively replace landlines in many places. The technology works. However, CEO Lowell McAdam is clear the financial case is still to be proven. Rupert Wood of Analysys Mason is an always interesting analyst. He's speaking at the excellent TNO Ultrabroadband Conference June 27.
In particular, can the cost be brought down enough to make money with a 5G millimeter wave network for fixed wireless? The range today is short, which means you'll need many, many cells with a massive backhaul network. One estimate I've heard is that the U.K. would need a million or so. Building that is so expensive should you go all the way home with the fiber?
Rupert's tentative conclusion: the new 5G entrant would need to "buy/build something like the network you’re wanting to displace." He looks at the question of capital efficiency. (More of his comments below.)
A major overbuild is certainly possible; Verizon is spending $300M on fiber in Boston, where they want to turn off their copper.