updated 10:35 pm EDT, Thu April 3, 2008
Verizon 700MHz 4G Access
Verizon will use its recent 700MHz wins to setup a nationwide 4G cellular network, the company declared tonight. A lift of the FCC's ban on discussing the 700MHz auction results reveals that the telecoms firm will introduce a Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network on its share of the frequency, providing much faster Internet access than the carrier's existing 3G, EVDO Revision A-based network.
Under the terms of the auction, Verizon will have to allow access to any hardware and software on the future network, preventing it from excluding competitive services. The company already took steps towards this with its existing network by launching its Any App, Any Device strategy with its existing network, permitting devices with a minimum amount of testing to run without being locked to the network.
After testing, Verizon hopes to have its early LTE service active by late 2009, with a wider rollout over the course of 2010.
Verizon's move will likely make its network directly interoperable with that of AT&T. The latter carrier also plans to move to LTE on the 700MHz band and so could potentially let users on its own 4G network to roam on Verizon's or switch services without replacing devices, a feat which is technically impossible with AT&T's current platform. LTE is also set for use in Europe by carriers such as Vodafone and may enable Verizon phones to roam in Europe without needing special dual-mode features.