Verizon Wireless Completes First Successful LTE 4G Data Calls

Verizon Wireless completed its first successful LTE 4G data calls. The LTE technology, which will compete against Sprint- and Clearwire-backed WiMax, is also supported by LG, Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, among others.

Verizon Wireless is a step closer to its promise of offering nationwide Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G coverage by 2013. On Aug. 14, the carrier reports, it completed successful LTE data calls in Boston and Seattle, both based on the 3GPP Release 8 standard and over 700MHz spectrum.
If any small talk was involved, it was accompanied by streaming video, file uploads and downloads and some Internet browsing. Verizon also made LTE 4G data calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
"Verizon Wireless, with outstanding cooperation from our partner suppliers, is fully committed to harnessing the power of LTE over our 700MHz spectrum. This combination of state-of-the art technology and prime spectrum will soon make a ubiquitous, highly mobile, super-fast broadband experience a reality for customers," said Tony Melone, Verizon's senior vice president and chief technology offer, in a statement.
"This significant milestone in our LTE 4G network testing, exemplified by the first data calls in Boston and Seattle, further validates our early support and decision to select LTE as the standard for our next-generation wireless broadband network," Melone added.
Contributing to the effort were partners Alcatel-Lucent in Boston and Ericsson in Seattle, which each supplied base stations for radio access. LG and Samsung contributed trial devices, and Starent Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks provided network equipment.
According to Verizon, Motorola, ST-Ericsson and Qualcomm will all be offering trial devices soon as well.
Boston and Seattle - which were chosen for their mixes of urban and suburban neighborhoods, as well as their tech-savvy populations - reportedly now each have 10 LTE 4G cell sites up and running.
Verizon hopes launch LTE 4G networks in 30 markets in 2010, which would cover 100 million people, before rolling out nationwide coverage in 2013. The trails are expected to help Verizon and its partners better understand how to prepare cell sites and add the new technology to its network.
LTE main competition in the race to 4G is WiMax, which is widely deployed around the globe but has so far only been rolled out in a handful of U.S. markets by Clearwire, with the help of Sprint. In January, the two added Portland, Ore., to the list.