Verizon Wireless will sell a 4G smartphone from Motorola in 2011, which by default means Google’s Android platform will power the handset.
Verizon COO John Stratton told the Wall Street Journal “Motorola will be right there” when it comes time to roll out handsets based on the company’s 4G network in 2011.
Motorola only produces phones based on Android these days, ending any speculation about what platform its 4G phone will run on. Backed by Verizon’s multimillion-dollar marketing strategy, the phone maker’s popular Droid line has revitalized a once flagging company.
Verizon Dec. 5 launched its 4G network, which uses the LTE (long-term evolution) technology to accelerate data across wireless Internet connections, in 38 cities and 60 commercial airports.
LTE can approach land-based cable modem and fiber optic speeds. An early test of Verizon’s network by Gleacher & Co analyst Mark McKechnie yielded 11M bps to 22M bps of downstream data and 7M bps to 15M bps of upstream data.
This speed jump over current 3G deployments means faster access to the Web and mobile applications for the consumer, which benefits all of the entities in the mobile ecosystem, carriers, phone makers and applications developers.
An official announcement of Motorola 4G Android phones from Verizon seems almost certainly slated for the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show early next month.
Verizon in a Twitter tweet Dec. 20 compared Android and LTE to the popular combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg will be delivering the a keynote address at CES Jan. 6.
The news has Android-focused blogs speculating that Verizon’s intended 4G handset could be the rumored Etna device.
Android and Me said Etna is the codename for the Motorola Tegra 2 phone, which is also headed to AT&T with the codename Olympus. The blog shows the phone looks like a cross between the Droid X and the Defy.
“Test units are running Android 2.2 with Motoblur, but we have heard Motorola is already working on Android 2.3,” the blog added.