Verizon Wireless said Feb. 18 Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent will be the primary vendors for the company’s initial LTE (Long Term Evolution) network deployments in the United States. With a target deployment date of 2010, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent will build the underlying infrastructure for Verizon Wireless to become the first wireless company to offer commercial LTE-based service in the United States.
In a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Dick Lynch, Verizon executive vice president and chief technology officer, also added that Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent will be the key suppliers for the IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) network. A cornerstone technology of Verizon’s services infrastructure, Verizon plans to offer IMS-based IP converged applications and services on its wireless and landline broadband networks.
LTE, Lynch said, will be one of the key wireless access networks linked to the IMS technology.
“Verizon Wireless’ LTE network deployment will be driven by our vision of providing ubiquitous global wireless broadband connectivity and mobility,” Lynch said in the keynote. “LTE enables us to continue to meet business customer demands for a higher bandwidth, low latency service that works broadly in the United States and globally, while helping us to meet consumer demand for mobilizing the many applications they frequently use when tethered to high bandwidth wired networks.”
Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone, will use the spectrum it obtained for $6.5 billion in last year’s FCC (Federal Communications Commission) 700 MHz auction to run its LTE network. The spectrum is currently held by broadcasters who are scheduled to vacate the spectrum in June.
Lynch said building and offering commercial services over Verizon Wireless’ LTE network — while also expanding its FiOS fiber network — is a “consistent and complimentary strategy focused on a committed future in broadband.” Lynch added that the company expects to maintain commercial service on its 3G service well into the next decade.
“We are not only providing Verizon Wireless with a complete LTE solution, we are also committing our global leadership in technology and standardization to help Verizon realize the promise of LTE during 2010,” Carl-Henric Svanberg, Ericsson’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Using a variety of network infrastructure providers, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone have been field testing 4G LTE networks in four U.S. markets: Minneapolis, Minn.; Columbus, Ohio; and Northern New Jersey. In addition, testing is being conducted in Budapest, Dusseldorf and Madrid in Europe. According to Verizon Wireless, the field trials showed download rates of 50 to 60 Mbps peak speeds, though the company warned actual average download results will not be determined until the commercial launch of the new network.
Verizon Wireless said once the initial LTE rollout is complete, plans are in place for aggressive deployment throughout Verizon Wireless’ entire network, including areas not currently covered by the existing Verizon Wireless footprint.
Advanced LTE-based wireless networks will support new applications that businesses and consumers can only currently access through high-speed wireline networks. LTE users will also be able to take applications on the road that today are tied to wireline networks.
“The appetite for new and innovative broadband services is insatiable: people want new and customized content, relevant information and services, and increased opportunities to communicate with each other and the world around them,” Lynch said. “With the promise of more advanced devices and applications, Verizon is ready to lead the way in harnessing the power of LTE, at the onset of the LTE revolution.”