Verizon Picks 4G LTE Technology
Verizon’s second big announcement of the week is that the company plans to develop and deploy its next generation mobile broadband network using Long Term Evolution (LTE), a technology more closely related to GSM, used by rival AT&T, which will also be upgrading to the LTE format.
GSM, as opposed to Verizon’s current CDMA, developed by Qualcomm, has five times as many users worldwide through companies like Vodaphone, joint owner of Verizon Wireless. LTE is a fourth generation technology, comparable to WiMax (which Sprint is banking on), and Qualcomm-backed Ultra Mobile Broadband, with theoretical speeds up to 100 Mbps.
Though don’t count on wireless speeds that fast right away, definitely not until well after launch sometime in 2009 or 2010. Verizon will be trialing the platform throughout 2008.
Verizon says it seeks to open up the kinds of devices used on its network beyond mobile phones.
"With a host of new devices and applications, and a particular focus on embedded wireless in virtually every piece of electronics you buy in any store, we believe LTE is the best technology with global scale to deliver on the promise,” said Richard Lynch, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon Communications.
Because Verizon is switching to the same technology as AT&T, it also means that subscribers will be able to move between networks thanks to Verizon’s new open devices policy, announced at the beginning of this week.
At the time of that earlier announcement, it was unclear the impact an open devices policy would have because of the incompatibility between Verizon’s CDMA network and the rest of the world’s (save for Sprint) use of GSM.