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Verizon confirms 4G access, to share with AT&T

updated 10:40 am EST, Thu November 29, 2007

Verizon Chooses LTE for 4G

Verizon on Thursday confirmed a choice of its fourth-generation cellular Internet access that will dictate both its phone offerings and its compatibility with other networks. The company says it will use the new standard known as Long-Term Evolution, or LTE; the technology promises as much as 100 megabits per second in downloads and 50 megabits in the reverse direction while also cutting down latency to 20 milliseconds, making particularly intensive online games, high-quality two-way video, and other time-sensitive features more practical.

Connections in real situations are expected to be slower but still easily exceed the peak speeds of Verizon's current EVDO Revision A network, which peaks at 1.4 megabits per second downstream in actual use. This and the CDMA calling network that form the backbone of Verizon's service are ultimately expected to phase out as a result of the announcement.

The changeover to LTE is also poised to create a significant ripple effect in the cellular industry, increasing compatibility between Verizon and other networks. Vodafone, which owns a significant stake in Verizon, also plans to migrate from its incompatible GSM and HSPA networks to LTE. It will effectively let Verizon customers roam on its high-speed connection without changing devices or relying on a dual-mode phone such as the BlackBerry 8830, which supports both CDMA and GSM.

AT&T is similarly positioned to switch to LTE and could for the first time allow roaming between its network and Verizon's, increasing the overall coverage between the two services. Customers from AT&T with LTE cellphones should also be able to port their phones to Verizon's newly open network without being locked to the latter provider's choice of software. However, the break will also isolate smaller carriers such as Alltel and Sprint, both of whom have either revealed no immediate plans beyond 3G (in the case of Alltel) or which have expressed a desire to use WiMAX instead of LTE, as with Sprint's upcoming Xohm service.

A joint trial of LTE between Verizon and Vodafone will start sometime in 2008, though neither company has said when it plans to launch a commercial service. These networks are so far predicted to launch in 2009 or 2010.

Written, edited and compiled by Jeff Smith.

by MacNN Staff




  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Competitive advantages

    Wow, so Verizon's competitive advantage of "it's the network" and AT&T's ability to use any and all GSM devices and roam internationally could effectively be null and void if things progress to at least comparative openness.

  1. bnowrooz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dearest Uncle Steve,

    Please put LTE on iPhone's roadmap so Verizon customers can enjoy the sweet treats.

    Love, The customers

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why stick w/Verizon now?

    There's really no more reason to stick with Verizon now. All those who kept saying how their network is better, etc have no more argument.

    Also, please be aware that Verizon also caps their customers to 5GB of data per month.

  1. ibgarrett

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This beggs the question

    Why wouldn't the iPhone just skip right over 3G network and straight to the 4G? Why muddy the waters....

  1. Super Glitcher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re:This begs the question

    how about 2 years of profits from selling 3g iPhones? afaik 3g is still fairly new here in the states - a jump to 4g now would be premature and there's not even a network around to support it. seems like it'd be a worthless toy for a few years

  1. RKDinOKC

    Joined: Dec 1969



    My 3G just started working yesterday!

  1. yticolev

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: why stick w/verizon?

    "There's really no more reason to stick with Verizon now. All those who kept saying how their network is better, etc have no more argument."

    Now? The argument hasn't changed. Talk to us again in 2013 when all towers have been updated.

    And if AT&T has a similar number of towers at that point as Verizon, and has also done a remarkable change in their customer service, then you might have a point.

    "Also, please be aware that Verizon also caps their customers to 5GB of data per month."

    That is theoretical and removal from service is rare. Contrast that to the practical inability to exceed that number with AT&T in most areas due to extremely slow connections. Also look at how many customers AT&T cancels every month for "roaming" on their national plan.

    You'll be happier in the theoretical future in 2013 because at least you will have a shot at winning this particular argument!

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hold on now,

    Don't forget about the contractual agreement AT&T and Apple made. It won't be all that long before it's up, but there's a reason they made it. Verizon snubbed their nose at Apple, wanting to keep a clear lock on all the hardware/software on their network for their best profit. AT&T, meanwhile, took the leap of faith as is doing all the better for it, but had to make the initial investment of beefing up their network to make things like Visual Voicemail work.

    Verizon can't just snap their fingers and have all of the needed improvements done to have similar functionality on their network, even if they were willing to give up some of their control.

    And for those wanting a 4G network, it's just like super glitcher said, it's going to be years before ANYONE has something up and running there. They were jut bidding on who could have the POSSIBILITY of using what parts of that spectrum, not say anything about when they would start to make that a reality.

  1. jimothy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Unintentional champion"

    EMI could, for all we know, be an *intentional* champion of consumer rights. I know it sounds absurd, but they could actually have recognized that by treating their paying customers with respect, they might actually get more paying customers.

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    consumer reports

    Consumer Reports ranks Verizon #1 and AT&T #4. This isn't gonna change that, is it?

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