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Verizon: Everyone’s Moving to Florida

A cellular tower spreads coverage in the Florida Keys. (Photo: felixmizioznikov/Getty Images)

The wireless carrier says its subscribers are decamping en masse for the Sunshine State.

By Sascha Segan

The COVID pandemic has led more than a quarter-million Verizon Wireless subscribers to move from elsewhere in the country to Florida, according to a new press release(Opens in a new window) from the wireless carrier.

The Sunshine State has seen a “recent massive, pandemic-related influx of people,” Verizon says.

You don’t often see wireless carriers comment on demographic trends, but of course, they know where their subscribers live. And it’s clear that Florida has been a big winner in population transfer since January 2020, Verizon says.

“With the evolution of the distributed workforce resulting from the pandemic, we’re seeing more people permanently change locations to Florida, and other places. Experiencing the impact of this influx, we revised our forecasting models and are pouring additional capital into the state to grow our coverage and capacity to meet the increased demands,” Kyle Malady, Verizon’s EVP of networks and technology said.

The dark red coverage shows Verizon’s fast mid-band 5G in Tampa.

Among counties and cities it listed, Orlando and Miami had the biggest growth in increased busy-hour population, with Orlando up 408% and Miami up 365%, as opposed to a “mere” 135% in Tampa. The additional traffic means Verizon will spend $149 million more to build Florida networks than it had expected to pre-pandemic, the company said.

Verizon didn’t reveal where its new Floridians are coming from, though.

All three carriers have recently been focusing new networks on Florida. AT&T’s initial 5G C-band rollout only included eight cities in the US, but three were in Florida alone: Jacksonville, Orlando, and the Miami metro area. Miami is also one of the few cities where T-Mobile has publicly said it has high-band millimeter-wave 5G, although it doesn’t have very much of it there.

Verizon’s official coverage map says it covers much of the South Florida agglomeration with mid-band, along with Tampa, Orlando, and parts of Jacksonville, and it supplements several Florida cities with high-band millimeter-wave 5G.

Our Fastest Mobile Networks drive testers are currently in Florida charting out all three major networks’ coverage. We are doing more Florida coverage than ever this year: first stopping in Tallahassee, then proceeding to Tampa, Miami, and finally Key West.

Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.




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