Verizon plans to use Long Term Evolution technology as it path to fourth generation wireless services.
Long Term Evolution will provide Verizon and Vodafone — the joint owners of Verizon Wireless — with the opportunity for a common access platform that will eventually allow customers to use their phones in both the U.S. and Europe, according to the company.
The LTE technology was developed within the Third Generation Partnership Project, or 3GPP, standards organization. LTE is designed to deliver mobile data networks with higher speed and throughput performance, lower latency, global roaming and improved efficiencies.
Verizon and Vodafone, which currently use incompatible mobile wireless technologies, plan trials for the LTE technology next year. Trial suppliers include Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia-Siemens Networks and Nortel.
In addition to mutual compatibility with Vodafone, Verizon said in its Nov. 29 announcement, the decision to commit to LTE is driven by growing consumer demand for wireless data services and the expected explosion in devices containing embedded wireless connectivity.
"The companys move toward a 4G [fourth generation] network is driven by our vision of pervasive wireless Internet connectivity and mobility," Richard Lynch, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon Communications, said in a statement.
Click here to read about Verizons plan to let customers connect non-Verizon phones to its network.
"A number of factors are setting the stage for our 4G network migration; most importantly, our view of customers evolving appetite for more information, entertainment and functionality, combined with an increasing customer expectation for easy access, high speed, easy handling and seamless mobility."
Doreen Toben, Verizons chief financial officer, said the companys LTE decision, combined with Verizon Wireless Nov. 27 announcement that it plans to open its network to hardware and software not sold by the company, will provide the company with major growth opportunities.
"Fourth generations higher data speeds will usher in a new era of wireless applications and appliances, all of which can benefit from connecting to the [companys] wireless network," she said in a statement.
Vodafone said it was looking forward to the planned 2008 LTE trials.
"We expect LTE to form a key part of Vodafones future technology strategy, and the prospect of moving towards a common platform with Verizon Wireless is an attractive long-term goal," Vodafone Global Chief Technology Officer Steve Pusey said in a statement.
"LTE will build on the capabilities of Vodafones 3G broadband High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network technology, which is available across the entire Vodafone 3G footprint."
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