updated 03:25 pm EDT, Fri August 14, 2009
Verizon LTE trials in 2009
Verizon Wireless will debut its next-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G data network in trials in the metropolitan Boston and Seattle areas before year's end, according recent according to recent comments by carrier president Denny Strigl. Beyond that, the carrier plans to bring the ultra high-speed wireless data network standard to as many as 30 markets, Strigl said. By the end of 2013, Verizon hopes to offer the service in all of its markets.
On Friday, Verizon made a successful test of the new network in Boston, as it made a VoIP data call based on the LTE standard. It involved streaming video, file transfers and web browsing.
Verizon last year purchased some of the 700MHz wireless spectrum in the FCC auction, which should prove ideal for both indoor and outdoor reach. Verizon doesn't expect the LTE service to take away from its existing 3G network subscribers, at least initially. This likely means pricing will be much higher for the LTE service, as is the case with any emerging technology, but Verizon is keeping mum about any rates for LTE.
In real-world tests, Verizon reached 12Mbps LTE speeds using mobile phones that support the new network. Phone manufacturers that include Nokia, LG, Samsung and others are already developing such phones.
Meanwhile, competitor Sprint is planning on releasing its Clear WiMAX 4G network in three states by September 1st, while AT&T doesn't plan to bring its LTE technology to market until 2011.