Forgive my schoolgirl crush on faster mobile broadband, but after Alcatel-Lucent said today that in conjunction with LG Electronics it had completed the first uninterrupted data handoff between a CDMA network and an LTE network, I got really excited as that means that by the end of this year, about a third of the U.S. population will have access to mobile broadband speeds that make streaming video onto a handset a good experience. And thanks to Verizon and Metro PCS, that means LTE is in sight!
Getting the handoff between the two networks right is a big deal as it prevents VoIP calls or data requests from dropping once out of the LTE network’s range. Alcatel-Lucent’s news affects Verizon in the U.S., which has said it plans to offer LTE to areas totaling some 100 million people before the end of this year and everywhere it has 3G by the end of 2013.
And while it’s been telling people that they will surf at speeds between 5 Mbps and 12 Mbps down and 2 Mbps and 5 Mbps up on LTE, yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Verizon showed off an LG data card that was delivering 100 Mbps down and up to 50 Mbps up. All I’m waiting for is pricing details and a deployment near me. For those holding out for MetroPCS’s service, it doesn’t plan to begin deploying LTE until late 2010, but it says it will launch with handsets this year, while Verizon has said it will have handsets in 2011.