Verizon Wireless, a division of Verizon, is picking LTE — Long-Term Evolution — as the 4G technology for wireless broadband, and will start trials sometime in 2008.
LTE allows download rates of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 50 Mbps for every 20 MHz of spectrum. It can handle 200 connections per 5 MHz. However, it is said to be spectrally more efficient and can better handle IP connections. LTE networks are based on the Internet Protocols. The traditional wireless vendors — Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), Nortel (NT), Motorola (MOT), Nokia-Siemens and Ericsson (ERICY) — are going to be hardware suppliers, while the usual handset makers will make devices for this trial. Vodafone (VOD), joint owner of Verizon Wireless, is also planning an LTE Trial for 2008.
That said, it will be a while before we see the actual 4G network rolled out. This technology evolution when complete will make Verizon’s (VZ) Open Access Development initiative more meaningful. The LTE evolution negates the GSM vs. CDMA debate, and it also promises global connectivity. In a recent chat, AT&T Mobility President & CEO Ralph de la Vega said that his company was going to migrate to LTE as the 4G solution. In such a scenario, you and I can then switch between the two services without worrying too much about handsets.