Verizon's new CEO: We don't need to buy a content creator like AT&T did with Time Warner

  • Verizon's Hans Vestberg says the top wireless carrier doesn't need to compete in premium content to succeed.
  • "Our network is our asset," the new CEO says. "I think we have another way to deal with our assets, our distribution."
  • Verizon is making a big push into 5G next generation wireless technology. "[It] can disrupt industries," he says.

Hans Vestberg, newly installed CEO of Verizon, told CNBC on Wednesday the top wireless carrier doesn't need to compete in premium content to succeed.

Vestberg was responding a question about the changing landscape in the telecommunications industry, with AT&T recently purchasing Time Warner and U.S. cable TV giant Comcast battling to add British satellite broadcaster Sky to its television holdings, which include NBC and CNBC. He did not offer an opinion on those moves.

"Our network is our asset," Vestberg said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "I think we have another way to deal with our assets, our distribution."

Verizon is making a big push into the next generation of wireless technology, 5G. "[It] can disrupt industries, change the way you're thinking about technologies, and I think that's what people really haven't understood yet," said Vestberg. The 5G standard is meant to allow more devices to be on one internet connection, with faster device communications and data transfers.

Verizon announced Tuesday that Indianapolis is scheduled to receive 5G residential broadband service in the second half of 2018, joining Houston, Los Angeles and Sacramento, California. "As [5G-capable] mobile devices become available in early 2019, Verizon plans to quickly move to be first in 5G mobile service," the company said in a statement.

Verizon also announced it will offer customers who sign up for its new 5G internet service a free Apple TV box and a subscription to Google's YouTube streaming television service. The service will debut in those four cities.

Competition in wireless is fierce. Verizon had been losing postpaid wireless subscribers, or customers who pay a monthly bill, to its No. 3 rival T-Mobile, which has won customers by pitching itself as more consumer-friendly and offering more perks. However, Verizon reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings last month as it attracted more subscribers with unlimited data plans.

Vestberg, promoted from chief technology officer, succeeded Lowell McAdam as CEO of the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier earlier this month. McAdam, who had been CEO since August 2011, continues as chairman of the board. Before joining Verizon last year, Vestberg spent six years as CEO of Swedish telecom powerhouse Ericsson.

— CNBC's Michael Sheetz and Jillian D'Onfro contributed to this report.