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December 04, 2018
Verizon’s Dunne discusses the 5G handset upgrade conundrum

Verizon’s Ronan Dunne is facing a 5G challenge, and he knows it. His problem—one shared by other wireless providers across the world—is that he’s getting ready to start selling new 5G smartphones, but customers are no longer buying new smartphones like they used to.

Specifically, the “upgrade rate” in the wireless industry is lengthening significantly, meaning wireless customers are holding onto their phones for much longer periods of time than they used to. For example, wireless customers used to buy a new smartphone every one or two years, but now the average wireless customer is buying a new smartphone every three or four years.

That presents a significant challenge to Dunne and other wireless industry executives who are hoping to generate significant sales of 5G devices; the more 5G devices they sell, the more opportunities they have to recoup their investment in their 5G networks.

Verizon’s Dunne discusses the 5G handset upgrade conundrum