Verizon CEO on the future of 5G and the changing telecom landscape

Scott Gamm

Verizon Communications (VZ) plans to more than triple the number of U.S. cities offering its 5G mobile service.

That’s the assessment from CEO Hans Vestberg, who spoke to Yahoo Finance following the release of its second quarter earnings report Thursday.

“We are now up to nine cities,” he said. “And our goal this year is to do plus 30 markets, which we are progressing well with.”

The Verizon 5G mobile deployment started back in April in Chicago and Minneapolis. On Wednesday, the company added 5G mobile service to Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, DC.

Verizon is the parent company of Yahoo Finance.

Meanwhile, Vestberg also weighed in on the proposed merger between rivals T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S), which received approval from the Department of Justice last week, though still faces an antitrust lawsuit from various states.

Hans Vestberg, Verizon executive vice president and president of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer, speaks during a panel discussion on 5G wireless broadband technology during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

As part of the Department of Justice’s approval, certain Sprint wireless assets must be sold to Dish Network (DISH), effectively creating a fourth wireless competitor pursuing 5G technology.

Vestberg is focused on the company’s strategy, even amid the changing telecom landscape.

“For us, I think that we don't change the strategy. We decided our strategy one year ago. We're executing on that,” Vestberg said.

Verizon expects capital spending to total between $17 billion and $18 billion in 2019, as it continues to invest in its network.

“I believe that we have the best engineers in the industry,” he added. “And so if they're going to catch us up, they need to do quite a lot to do it. And we believe that the quality networks is super important, especially going into 5G. So we will just continue to execute on the strategy we have, but, of course, it's a new industry structure we see in front of us.”

Verizon shares surged over 1% Thursday after second quarter adjusted earnings topped Wall Street’s expectations.

Scott Gamm is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @ScottGamm.

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