updated 04:55 pm EST, Thu January 6, 2011
We cover Verizon's 4G keynote live
Electronista is at Verizon's keynote for its 4G device rollout and will be covering it live. Most of what it should introduce focuses on Android and should include the HTC Thunderbolt, the Motorola Xoom and possibly the mysterious Samsung i520, though we're prepared for surprises. Read on after the break to see updates from the event as they happen.
4:56PM: Not prepared to comment on tethering at this point. Closing out. Wheels are just leaving the ground with this. Truly transformational. Hands-on time.
4:54PM: 4G phones will have simultaneous voice/data. Smartphone pricing caps? What we have now is what will be in place for the forseeable future. Caps may make sense at some time.
Propagation? 700MHz compared to 2-2.5GHz [Sprint] is 3-4 times better in propagation.
Net neutrality on LTE? We've been very specific about the openness of the network and our responsibilities. We think that innovation and the benefit of the customers needs an unfettered development environment is the right thing to have. The free market system works, and we don't need a lot of intervation. That said, we'll have "very constructive dialog" with Washington as necessary.
4:51PM: Roaming? Been working on it for GSM, HSPA. Pricing for 4G? Not announcing any changes. No pricing on devices or rate plans today. Currently on 5GB for $50 and 10GB for $80.
Devices locked to the network? SIM cards dictate the network and the customer. Complying with the open access requirements (of the 700MHz spectrum).
4:49PM: Q&A session. Will it bog down under load? Verizon's 5-12Mbps figure is under a full load. Battery? Been working with Qualcomm and others to optimize battery life.
4:45PM: HP Pavilion dm1 to get LTE. Mini 210 too. Novatel MiFi. Recapping the Moto Xoom and Droid Bionic.
4:42PM: Samsung's JK Shin (mobile president) up: three devices. Very proud to join this historic moment in the US telecom industry. Samsung Galaxy Tab with 4G, mobile hotspot and smartphone. The phone uses Super AMOLED Plus for better sharpness and visibility. 8MP camera, HD video, 1.3MP front cam.
Galaxy Tab: upgraded 1.2GHz processor and of course LTE.
Hotspot is small enough to fit in a pocket. Supports up to five devices.
4:40PM: Travis Boatman of EA up. On 4G, Rock Band Mobile will let you play multiplayer in a band with others. Coming soon.
4:38PM: Peter Chou of HTC up. Introducing the Thunderbolt. Pioneering a new era. He's been testing it as his personal device. Let me tell you, it's blazing fast. It integrates Skype video chat into Sense. Video streaming over 4G is incredible. 4.3-inch SLCD screen. Built-in hotspot feature. Super excited to see a mobile broadband experience. Hope you're as excited as I am.
4:34PM: Tony Bates, CEO of Skype up. Skype Mobile with Verizon will support voice and video chats on 4G. New phones will have Skype contacts integrated directly into the phones. It's always on; no need for Wi-Fi.
4:31PM: LG's Park is up. Proud to be part of this historic event. LG Revolution: first LTE smartphone. Basically an Optimus 2X with LTE. The future is here.
4:28PM: First 10 devices on show! 4 smartphones, 2 tablets, 2 hotspots, 2 notebooks (?).
4:26PM: Reiterating that Verizon plans to cover its entire network in 36 months (late 2013) and to have doubled its existing coverage by mid-2012 (18 months). Mead and Walden back up.
4:24PM: Tony Malone up. We had great confidence, but we were also realistic. We expected some early speedbumps. We're pleased to say those were few and far between. Our performance is exceeding our own expectations. Good feedback.
Questions rose: is WiMAX's time to market an advantage? What about HSPA+? We were confident in LTE. The tech lets you get online at the edge of the cell site at 1-3Mbps. Feedback has it 10-20 times faster. People say that it's faster than their landline connection.
4:20PM: We're going to provide the best network in the world. Being first with LTE was important, but that was never part of the endgame. Our aim is the best network.
4:18PM: Talking about the advantage of the 700MHz spectrum - it's ubiquitous and nationwide. Big help to rural providers like Bluegrass Cellular. Two more rural deals signed just this week.
4:16PM: Motorola and Samsung in the video -- Samsung shows what's likely the i520.
4:15PM: Dan Mead, Tony Malone and Marni Walden up on stage. It's been a three/four year journey for us. Partnering will be the foundation. A lot about the devices today. Big partners: Google and Skype among them. HTC's Peter Chou, LG's Dr. Jong-seok Park are in the video.
4:10PM: Finally starting. Rolling a promo video that doesn't have anything special so far.
4:04PM: As is often the case at such shows, running somewhat late.
3:58PM: The keynote should start in a few minutes. It's a packed house, but we're in the front row next to two Verizon executives -- they don't have anything special in hand.