Verizon has ‘moved on’ from cable, says CEO McAdam

Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon, says that the company is not interested merging with cable operators, saying it wants to build its own infrastructure.

McAdam told a crowd of investors at the annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference that Verizon has “moved on” from cable, explaining: “The facts show you can build it better than buy it […] for the future that we see, you’re going to have to have deep fibre into the network […] I’d rather just put in the fibre.”

His comments come in the midst of the widely discussed acquisition ofTime Warner Cable Networks by Verizon rival, AT&T for $85 billion. The deal has come under much scrutiny by US government and industry analysts over concerns about pricing and competition. 

He made it clear that investing in fibre infrastructure for 5G was Verizon’s main goal, saying: “This is the platform that will usher in the fourth industrial revolution in the country,” adding that the technology “is on our doorstep, and it’s going to be huge.” 

McAdam predicts that the future 5G network will have a response time that is five times as fast as 4G, enabling a 10 times longer battery life, 100 times more throughput and 1,000 times more capacity, far outweighing the benefits of cable. 

Speaking on the future of video content McAdams said the numbers all show over-the-top is gaining ground and the 300-channel pay-TV bundle is “under assault”, but “we’re building the network that doesn’t care,” he said. “I don’t care whether the customer goes over the top or buys a linear package. We’ll sell either one to them […] We want to have the network that people can provide whatever service they want on it.”

McAdam made it clear that it is championing its offering in content through its new division, Oath. “The data analytics between the network and Oath, for us, is something that we think has tremendous value and the advertisers that come to visit think there’s a lot of value there,” he said.

He added that, although it can’t beat Google in the digital advertising space, the “market is growing pretty well” and “advertisers are looking for an alternative and our approach to delivering video and having that available on your mobile device, a lot of those deals will be focused on Oath than on wireless.”