Verizon Wireless to Launch 4G LTE Service in 30 U.S. Cities

News Analysis: Verizon plans to roll out its 4G LTE Network to 30 large U.S. cities by end of 2010 and deliver the high-speed service to the entire country by 2013.

BETHESDA, MD.-Verizon Wireless told enterprise IT managers at a meeting here Sept. 15 that it plans to light up 30 "National Football League Cities" in the United States with its 4G LTE wireless network by the end of 2010.

The remainder of the country will get this 4G service in stages until the entire nation has access to Verizon Wireless' 4G network by 2013, according to Bernie McMonagle, a Verizon senior federal sales executive.

Verizon officials would not specify which cities will gain 4G service in 2010 other than to say they are major metropolitan areas.

McMonagle said he expects to see 4G initially being used by laptop wireless cards and by devices that could potentially monitor everything from traffic sensors to refrigerators. Because of the economies of scale that come from using Verizon's global, standards-based approach to LTE, he said, he expects the prices of such devices to drop quickly and for them to become virtually ubiquitous. As envisioned, the Verizon Wireless 4G network would use a flat IP addressing model, much like what you'd find in an enterprise network.

Of course, with the number of devices that would become part of the Verizon Wireless network, the standard would be IPv6, which was confirmed by a Verizon Wireless engineer. The company is already in the process of completing the build-out.

McMonagle said the company's cell sites are being upgraded to Gigabit Ethernet where possible so that they will have the backhaul capacity to support the bandwidth requirements of LTE. Currently, the first phase of the Verizon Wireless 4G network is designed to support download speeds of 5M bps to 12M bps with upload speeds of 2M bps to 5M bps.

He also said the company would provide latency of 30 to 150 milliseconds, which is significantly better than current 3G technology. The bandwidth numbers are similar to those quoted by Sprint Nextel for its 4G network, which uses WiMax, however Verizon Wireless is widely believed to be preparing a second stage of the network build-out that would operate at significantly higher speeds.

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...