Verizon Wireless on Track for Big LTE Rollout in 2010
Verizon Wireless is on track to deploy LTE in 25 to 30 markets, it has previously announced, after successful testing in Boston and Seattle. The rollout will enable LTE to finally begin catching up to WiMax, which Clearwire and Sprint currently offer in 27 U.S. markets.
Verizon Wireless officials are saying their
plans to roll out 4G Long-Term Evolution networks are coming along swimmingly.
LTE trials in Boston and Seattle reportedly saw peak download speeds of 40M to 50M bps and peak upload speeds of 20M to 25M bps-"significantly faster" than current 3G speeds on Verizon's own or competitors' networks, the carrier said in a March 8 statement.
Data rates were an average 5M to 12M bps on the downlink and 2M to 5M bps on the uplink. Further, Verizon said it successfully tested calls involving streaming video, file uploads and downloads, Web browsing and VOIP (voice over IP).
"Our LTE rollout plan positions Verizon Wireless to be a global leader in 4G LTE deployment. We are on track to deliver an outstanding wireless data experience to customers in 25 to 30 markets covering roughly 100 million people by year's end," Tony Melone, Verizon senior vice president and CTO, said in a statement. "As device makers, manufacturers and others around the world begin to introduce newer and faster products to take advantage of these incredible new speeds, Verizon Wireless will be positioned to offer our customers new and exciting products on the nation's first 4G LTE network."
The competing 4G technology, WiMax, is currently in 27 U.S. markets, thanks to Clearwire, of which Sprint owns the majority share. Sprint plans to release a 4G smartphone in the first half of 2010, while Clearwire has announced plans to extend WiMax service in 80 markets by the end of the year, covering approximately 120 million people.
The world's first LTE network went live in December 2009, in Stockholm, thanks to carrier TeliaSonera and technology from Ericsson. ABI Research said in a report that it expects mobile capital expenditures to grow by more than 4 percent in 2010, driven by "the rollout of 4G LTE networks by operators such as Verizon Wireless and TeliaSonera," as well as investments in 3.5G technologies such as HSPA and HSPA+.
In 2009, mobile capital expenditures fell by 2.7 percent.
"The rapid adoption of smartphones will drive service revenue growth in 2010, as more consumers adopt data plans to take advantage of their handsets' features," ABI analyst Bhavya Khanna said in the report.
Verizon Wireless stated that in addition to testing its LTE network it is installing LTE equipment at existing U.S. cell sites and switching centers as part of its ongoing investment in its network.