Verizon Wireless Confirms Broad U.S. LTE Rollout for 2010

News Analysis: Verizon Wireless releases the details of its plans to introduce LTE to 38 cities and 60 airports in 2010. LTE officials also hinted at new wireless products.

Verizon President Lowell McAdam revealed the details of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE rollout for 2010 at a CTIA press conference in San Francisco today. McAdam noted that the initial deployment of LTE will take place in 38 cities, which is an increase from the previously announced 30 cities.

He also said LTE will come to 60 commercial airports, including airports in cities that aren't getting LTE this early. Verizon released a complete list of cities and airports to receive LTE service.

In addition, McAdam said that more cities could be added to the list soon, including West Lafayette, Ind., home of Purdue University, which is building a digital campus. Detroit could also become part of the rollout, but according to McAdam, Verizon Wireless needs to iron out some issues with cross-border interference because of its proximity with Windsor, Ontario.

When Verizon Wireless previously had announced that 30 cities would get LTE, there was considerable speculation as to which cities those might be. However, with the added list of locations, virtually every major metropolitan area in the United States is getting LTE this year. And the list of airports that will get LTE goes significantly beyond the 38 cities to cover most of the major commercial airline hubs in the country.

McAdam declined to be specific about which devices will be the first to appear with Verizon Wireless' LTE, except to say that the first products this year will be USB Aircards. The smartphones and tablets that are planned for 4G service will come from "mainstream manufacturers," he said. But he would not confirm whether a number of devices, about which there is intense speculation including the iPhone and iPad, would be among them. He said that this announcement will come during CES in January.

Earlier today a story in the Wall Street Journal reported that theiPhone 4 is being readied for a January 2011 release. While not confirming the report, McAdam did say, however, that LTE would be a great reason for Apple to want its devices to be on the Verizon Wireless network, pointing to the high speeds and low latency on the network. McAdam said users can expect 5M- to 12M-bps download speeds and 2M- to 5M-bps upload speeds. He also said that initially voice communications will use Verizon Wireless' 3G network.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...