Verizon's LTE network is reportedly having issues with what's meant to be a seamless transition between its 4G and 3G footprints.
Verizon Wireless is reportedly at work on some kinks in the LTE (Long-Term Evolution)
4G network that it officially
launched Dec. 5.
Several media sites have reported a problem with the handoff between Verizon's
3G and 4G networks, and Verizon spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson confirmed to PCMag
that users with Verizon's new 4G modems "could
experience delays of up to two minutes when switching between 3G coverage and
Verizon's LTE network." According to Business Insider's
Matt Rosoff, it's
sometimes necessary to unplug and reconnect the USB
modem to make the switch back from 3G to LTE.
Verizon introduced two 4G USB modems with
its LTE service, the Pantech UML290 and the LG Electronics VL600. Whether the
issue affects both equally is as yet unclear.
A Verizon Wireless spokesperson didn't respond to a request for comment.
On the upside, the network is said to be wonderfully fast. Sharing early
details about the launch during a Dec. 1 conference call with the media,
Verizon Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone said the network will offer speeds
10 times that of Verizon's 3G network. That type of speed, he explained, translates
to the ability to download 20 photos in 60 seconds.
a look at the Yankee Group's 4G predictions for 2011, click here.
Indeed, Rosoff has described his LTE experience so far as having a "profound
effect" on how he works, and he compared the difference to his life before
and after his first iPhone.
Verizon's LTE launch lit up 38 cities and 60 commercial airports, but the
effort, said Melone, is "just the beginning," with Verizon planning
to cover its entire 3G footprint by 2013.
"This is a big deal," Melone said during the call, adding that
just as Android adoption took off once Verizon got behind the OS, he expects
the same will happen with LTE. "Verizon will really make the difference
and kick-start the next generation of mobile broadband," he said.
Verizon competitor Sprint was the first major U.S.
carrier to launch a 4G network, via WiMax provider Clearwire. More recently-and
somewhat surprisingly-T-Mobile launched
an ad campaign
around its "4G" network, despite the offering
being based on HSPA+, a technology that it had earlier nicknamed 3.5G.
AT&T, the second largest network, is also planning an LTE-based 4G
network, but is first working to complete a transition to HSPA+. In a December
report on the future of 4G, research firm Yankee Group applauded such
positions, predicting that the "winners" in the 4G market will be
those "able to align 4G investments with pragmatic adoption forecasts-unlike
what happened with 3G." The "losers," added Yankee Group, will
be those that "expect 4G to change the world-and drive their business
growth-within the next one to two years."
additionally forecast a slow build in 4G adoption rates, with-despite
carriers' marketing efforts-less than 25 percent of North American consumers
understanding what 4G means by the end of 2011. In 2012, however, 4G awareness
is expected to exceed 50 percent, with adoption rates exceeding 20 percent in
the United States