What to expect from next month's Verizon LTE launch

Now that Verizon has started cranking up its hype machine for its LTE commercial launch next month, it's fair to wonder just what types of devices will run on the network.

Now that Verizon has started cranking up its hype machine for its LTE commercial launch next month, it's fair to wonder just what types of devices will run on the network.

Initially it seems that Verizon's LTE customers will be limited to USB dongles for their laptops.  However they won't have to wait very long for LTE-based smartphones to come out as some industry watchers expect them to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and to become commercially available shortly after.  4G technologies such as LTE and WiMAX represent the next stage in the evolution of wireless data technologies and generally deliver average download rates of 3Mbps or higher. 

Verizon, Bluegrass Cellular bringing LTE to rural Kentucky

"They've moved up the timetable for LTE smartphones and now I'm hearing sometime in February 2011," says ABI Research analyst Phil Solis.  "There will be a bunch of devices out in the first half of next year and there will be a focus on tablets."

Dan Hays, a director with management consultant PRTM, says that he initially expected Verizon to only offer straight data services as part of its LTE package, but it now appears that the carrier will have dual-radio devices that can offer data connectivity on a 4G network while having voice connectivity over its 3G network

Carriers and industry groups are still working on finalizing a standard for delivering voice traffic over LTE.  The GSM Association earlier this year adopted the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Initiative's IMS-based approach that can support features such as call waiting, call hold and call barring.

"Verizon has pushed the industry hard to make dual-mode devices available very quickly," he says.  "The availability of voice-capable LTE devices is a surprise within the wireless industry as it had been widely expected that 4G networks would be largely limited to data-only at first."

But the big question for Verizon's LTE network isn't whether it will support smartphones in the first half of 2011 but whether it will finally land an LTE-capable version of Apple's popular iPhone.  Although rumors of a Verizon iPhone have swirled for years now, Hays thinks that Verizon's LTE launch would be the perfect setting for Apple to debut a new iPhone model.

"It's quite likely that Apple will seek to take advantage of Verizon's 4G network," he says.  "Having an LTE-enabled iPhone and adopting new technology early would fit squarely with Apple's overall strategy."

As far as LTE coverage goes, Verizon's initial launch next month will cover 38 major markets, including Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.  By the end of 2013, Verizon plans to have all of its current base stations hooked up with LTE capabilities, meaning that most of the United States will be able to received LTE coverage.

"Compared to other mobile operators, Verizon will have the most coverage in the end," Solis says.  "And from there they'll try to expand into areas their base stations can't reach by working through partner companies in rural areas.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphoneswirelessNetworking3MPhonesWiMaxconsumer electronicsHaysABI researchBI ResearchWiMAX & LTEVerizon LTE

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Reed

Network World
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?