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Verizon Picks LTE for 4G Wireless Broadband

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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.

21 Responses to “Verizon Picks LTE for 4G Wireless Broadband”

  1. Brendan

    I think that is the only good thats come from those scam artist. we just switched to vonage for home phone because verizon charged $125 for phone service so we got dry DSL from them and it was $115. I will switch to att for home phone and tv/internet. Because i am so happy with att wireless.

  2. The debate of WiMax vs.LTE will be nonexistent soon as only Sprint is pushing for WiMax at this moment in the states. Outside of the states, certain providers in India are deploying it as well but when the major carriers like Vodafone, Verizon and AT&T are all switching to LTE that will be the only platform to pay attention to. WiMax’s cost advantage is also disappearing with all of these adoptions by the top players.

  3. Hi People,
    The 100MBPS DL and 50MBPS UL means that if your a wireless operator with 20MHz of spectrum, your air-interface shared capacity is just that, the end user will get whatever is allocated per tier of service and of course, this is all contention based. I have seen an LTE demo and have seen DL streams at 14mbp/ UL of 9mbps for 1 CPE…and this was 2 years ago… much for WiMax.

  4. It may take 3 to 5 years for all this to come about, but for mobile software developers, it feels like Christmas has come early this year. With most the world on one GSM-derived standard and truly open networks, all sorts of things are going to be possible that just weren’t before. Traditional device platform providers like Nokia, Apple and Microsoft will be able to create standardized, predictable eco-systems for app developers to build real businesses around. Right now, mobile development is just too dicey for many players because of the lack of transparency in the whole system. When these changes finally come about, the opportunities will become clearer and we’ll see lots more innovation.

  5. StanfordCellGuru


    I left a comment in your Verizon open devices post two days ago about this aspect, that the open devices initiative has to be seen as part of the big picture of Verizon shifting to LTE.

    I am still surprised at the timing of the open devices announcement, given that LTE is not going to be deployed till 2010 or so.

    Regarding royalty, since all 4G devices will have to be backward compatible to 3G for years to come, some form of royalty agreement will still be in place with Qualcomm.

    In 4G, both LTE and UMB are very similar OFDMA systems. So,the biggies like Qualcomm, Nokia etc. will have good patent positions. It will be interesting to see how the 4G royalty structure evolves.

    Also, this is going to be the first in a series of WiMax – meet LTE reality stories. Competing with LTE is going to be the big challenge for WiMax.

  6. Rick,

    Now that is mostly tech doublespeak – just like Internet Service Providers say, upto 8 megabits per second on your DSL. The fact is no one really knows how much you are going to get. The current HSDPA 3G is supposed to be like 3.6 megabit per second, though you barely get 600 kbps down. In this case, about 3-5 mbps download speeds is what we should expect!

  7. So what does 100 up and 50 down mean to me. Is that my expected data rates? I don’t think so! Why do these rates get published everywhere when they don’t mean squat to the end user.