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Verizon network braced for possible iPhone

updated 11:40 am EST, Fri December 18, 2009

VZW exec claims network could take Apple

Verizon has already built up its 3G network in the event it lands an iPhone deal, the company's CTO Anthony Melone said late Thursday. The executive stops short of saying that the network has been upgraded specifically for Apple but that the carrier is "prepared" for the level of data traffic the iPhone would bring. He argues that both the equipment and the company's quality checks should better prepare it than AT&T has in recent years.

"Absolutely, I think we could handle [the iPhone]," Melone tells BusinessWeek. "We understand very granularly where our network performs well and where it doesn't perform well."

Verizon relies partly on a real-world testing system to gauge the performance of its network and has 100 employees that drive throughout parts of the country checking for weak signals or degraded speeds, giving it an idea of where an upgrade is needed relatively close to when customers themselves notice an issue. As such, it can put money into more targeted upgrades.

AT&T at a recent UBS conference pledged ongoing upgrades but has typically focused on broader, whole-area upgrades rather than specific areas. It has been criticized for failing to anticipate the capacity needed to handle 3G iPhones and only this year began adding more capacious, wide-area 850MHz networks to New York City, San Francisco and other cities where data has been an issue.

AT&T has been reached for comment on its specific monitoring methods and should provide comment soon.

Regardless of whether or not the iPhone or a tablet-like device reaches Verizon, the provider is already facing one of its first tests through the Motorola Droid, whose data-centric OS and popularity are closer to 2007-era iPhone levels but enough to add significant demand.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004

    +3

    Really? They have a 3G network? I thought they wer

    CDMA network speed is nowhere near 3G speed on UTMS/HSPA networks. Have they been secretly building an HSPA+ network and used the "wait for LTE" as a ruse?

  1. Person Man

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jun 2001

    +3

    Be careful!

    After that little stunt they just pulled with Bing on their Blackberries, I'd be extremely cautious about going with Verizon if they get the iPhone.

  1. Bearcat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009

    +4

    Delusional!

    That guy is clearly nuts. There is no way possible that Verizon could handle the kind of data traffic that iPhone customers would demand. My opinion is, at this point, no carrier can handle it. I would dearly love to get the iPhone on Verizon as they have the best voice coverage in my area by far. But the capabilities of their data services is just too far lacking.

    If Verizon gets the iPhone next year, there will be a flood of customers jumping ship from AT&T because of all the bad press they get. Then Verizon will realize that no one can truly understand what the iPhone actually has done until their network crashes 100 times a day because of too many people surfing the net on the go.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000

    +4

    Re: Delusional!

    True, but not all the current iPhone users will jump ship to Verizon, so split the pool and maybe the two carriers will handle their smaller shares better. Of course, Verizon will look like a hero but the truth is they'll never have the same impact that AT&T has had to deal with.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    +1

    I have a feeling....

    I have a feeling iPhone will end up on all 4 of the major carriers, and possibly smaller ones as well.

    - A

  1. Raman

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2001

    +1

    Surprising

    I would be surprised that Apple would offer the iPhone on Verizon with all of the mud slinging Verizon has been doing obviously aimed at AT&T/Apple/iPhone.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004

    +1

    Want to put fire under their butt? Threaten to can

    If enough Verizon customers told them that they would cancel unless if they upgraded their network to HSPA+ (almost 3X faster than AT&T's 7.2 network), they would consider doing it. The two major CDMA carriers brought online a 21Mbps network that spans all 98% of the Canadian populated areas in less than 2 years. Verizon and Sprint could have joined forces to do the same in the US in a similar time period and they would have the iPhone right now. There is no AT&T exclusivity in the US. It is technological barrier. T-Mobile's 3G uses the wrong frequency and Verizon/Sprint are living in the past trying to milk CDMA for as long as they can. Sorry to break it to you folks but LTE is a pipe dream that is a long way off. If you want competition, threaten Verizon's pocket book by promising to leave en masse if they do not do something within the next year.

  1. timjones17

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2009

    -3

    No iPhone on Verizon

    I hope Verizon doesn't get the iPhone. It's obvious that iPhone users are a bunch of smug, arrogant whiners who want to make the rest of AT&T users pay for all the iFarting that they do. Steve Jobs took the rejected iPhone to crappy AT&T after he made much demands on Verizon Wireless. He probably now wish he was more accommodating. Now Jobs has to frog-hop and do backflips as he begs Verizon to take his iToy.

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