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How 5G Deployment Could Impact Verizon’s Capital Spending

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Verizon’s capex spending

In the previous part of this series, we looked at Verizon’s (VZ) plans to introduce its commercial 5G (fifth-generation) service in four US residential markets next month. However, it’s important to assess how this move might impact its short-term capital spending.

Verizon spent $3.3 billion on capital expenditures (or capex) in the second quarter, compared to $3.9 billion in the second quarter of 2017. For fiscal 2018, Verizon expects its capital spending to be consistent with the last several years, which suggests that the company should be able to deploy 5G services within its current capex trajectory. 

The company has guided its 2018 capital spending to be closer to the lower end of the $17.0 billion–$17.8 billion range, which includes the commercial launch of 5G. Its fiscal 2017 capex was $17.2 billion.

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Expected capex investments in 2018

In comparison, AT&T (T) expects to spend $25.0 billion on capex in 2018. T-Mobile (TMUS) expects its cash capital spending to be $4.9 billion–$5.3 billion (excluding capitalized interest). Sprint (S) expects its cash capital spending to be $5.0 billion–$6.0 billion in fiscal 2018,[1. fiscal 2018 ending March 2019] which excludes leased devices.

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