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Verizon 4G LTE network would likely launch in a very limited capacity in 2009

Access to high-speed wireless networks in America is not nearly as prevalent as access to high-speed networks is in other countries. With the FCC having auctioned off spectrum that will allow high-speed wireless networks to be deployed, the stage has been set to provide Americans with much faster wireless access.

One of the big winners in the FCC auctions this year was Verizon Wireless, which plunked down over $9 billion for its chunk of the 700MHz spectrum for its planned Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G network. After Verizon was announced as the auction winner for the upper C block of spectrum, it told consumers that it would be a few years before any services were available on the new bandwidth.

InformationWeek reports that Verizon is now saying that it expects to begin the launch of its 4G LTE network by the end of 2009. Verizon CTO Dick Lynch said in a statement, "We expect that LTE will actually be in service somewhere here in the U.S., probably this time next year." The key words in that statement are “expected” and “somewhere”.

If Verizon is able to launch any LTE service by the end of next year it will be in very large markets like New York City or other massive population areas. Lynch also said that Verizon would be offering femtocells with Wi-Fi integrated to extend wireless signals in doors, a key issue for many wireless Internet services.

Required LTE chipsets are being sampled by chipset makers like Sandbridge Technologies and according to reports, Qualcomm isn’t far behind on sampling its own LTE chipset. LTE will not be a standard only in the U.S., Vodafone, which owns part of Verizon is touting the specification for use globally.

LTE isn’t without competition though. Sprint is pushing a rival format with its Xohm WiMAX service. Sprint is currently offering WiMAX in only a few areas of the country and the economy and Sprints inability to retain customers have placed doubt on the long-term viability of WiMAX.

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useful information....
By Moishe on 12/12/2008 3:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Helpful to know what kind of speeds we're hoping for. WiMax is competition to this and according to some things I've read it looks like the winner may be largely dependent on first to market, marketing, and stuff like that.

The targets for LTE indicate bandwidth increases as high as 100 Mbps on the downlink, and up to 50 Mbps on the uplink.

RE: useful information....
By RU482 on 12/12/2008 5:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
considering Sprint is the player with WiMax, and Verizon has this 4G tech....I'm guessing WiMax is not going to take the US

RE: useful information....
By HrilL on 12/12/2008 5:56:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'll have to agree. AT&T is also going with LTE for 4G service the only other real player is T-mobile and they'll probably be going with LTE as well. So it seems like sprint will be the odd man out and will end up losing big time since they would have the same kind of handset support the other will.

RE: useful information....
By Dean364 on 12/12/2008 6:31:45 PM , Rating: 1
It's only a matter of time before someone buys Sprint anyways. Sprint has missed out on every major new phone launch. Their big phone of the year was the Instinct by Samsung. Have you seen that phone? It's a peice of trash.

RE: useful information....
By HrilL on 12/12/2008 7:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
You'd think that would be the case but who would buy them. Verizon already got Alltel and they were forced to sell parts because they were too big.

T-mobile has the most to gain if they were to buy Sprint but the fact that they are running on different types of networks leads me to believe this wouldn't be the best purchase.

And the same can be said for AT&T they probably want the #1 spot back from Verizon but with sprint being CDMA I doubt they'll bother. They are already gaining Sprint’s customers every day. Really all that is left is for Sprint to just die.

RE: useful information....
By JoKeRr on 12/12/2008 9:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
T-mobile is going for LTE as well, they recently just trialed nortel equipment in field in europe, with basestation handoffs. Other than that, carriers in Japan (NTT & KDDI), and China Mobile will be migrating to LTE as well. KDDI already annouced that they'll deploy LTE packet core from hitachi & gateway from nortel by next march. Sprint will eventually adopt LTE as well, since many other big carriers are migrating from CDMA to LTE. AT&T will be slow, since they want to sit on their HSPA (3G and evolution to HSPA+) network till as long as they can. AT&T will probably deploy LTE in 2012ish. And from Canada, Bell, Telus and Rogers will all be migrating to LTE. The earliest live LTE network will be operated by Verizon, followed by T-mobile.

RE: useful information....
By Alexstarfire on 12/13/2008 5:29:21 PM , Rating: 3
Well, I think we really need to fully utilize 3G before we just move on. I still can't make video calls in the US, which many Asian countries have been able to do for years.

RE: useful information....
By Targon on 12/15/2008 7:43:35 AM , Rating: 2
There is a somewhat popular misconception that you need to have 3G services available before 4 or 5G service should be adopted. I would expect that if AT&T was working on 4G or 5G technology and was close to it working, they would STOP putting their 3G service in the field if 4G wasn't far behind(far being within 3 years).

So, don't worry about a lack of 3G when talking about 4G, the reasons for not deploying the 3G equipment are varied, and 4G probably fixes a number of issues that would prevent 3G from working in some areas.

RE: useful information....
By omnicronx on 12/13/2008 1:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
3g is basically wideband cdma, it would not be the end of the world to changeover the hardware, it would just require everyone get a new phone.

RE: useful information....
By lagitup on 12/13/2008 12:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
I thought Sprint had partnered with Clearwire for their WiMax service? Clearwire has a pretty impressive service set up already, if Sprint could make direct use of that they would /win in a heartbeat...

By excrucio on 12/12/2008 9:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
If verizon goes to the SIM based I will gradly sign up. If they continue with the bullcrap of using that CDMA technology with crappy phones from LG. Ill stay with tmobile or ATT

Just the truth. CDMA is the gayest thing being used in the US

RE: Listen...
By sprockkets on 12/12/2008 11:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
The 3G that ATT and T-Mobile use is a form of CDMA, WCDMA. CDMA was the way to go all along.

Sure, perhaps Verizon and company should have gone GSM, but in the end, they won, and for them to go from 3G to 4G will not be such a big change.

As far as SIMs go, well, I agree with you there.

RE: Listen...
By omnicronx on 12/13/2008 1:34:48 AM , Rating: 2
Haha i was about to say the same thing, 3g GSM piggybacks on on CDMA and is basically just wideband CDMA. (infact the underlying interface is called WCDMA)

RE: Listen...
By aebiv on 12/15/2008 12:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe all of you who thing CDMA tech like Verizon uses and WCDMA that ATT uses for their 3g are the same thing, need to do some more reading.

Similiar in name only for the "Code Division Multiple Access"... Anyway, everywhere I've been with my 3G ATT phone I've been able to get HSDPA and HSUPDA.

RE: Listen...
By FITCamaro on 12/15/2008 8:35:42 AM , Rating: 2
The jump to GSM would have been pointless since the next technology was going to be CDMA based. GSM was touted as the revolutionary new thing when it came to the US but it had already been around for over 10 years and was already slated to be replaced.

RE: Listen...
By KC7SWH on 12/15/2008 12:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't use data just voice and the best thing that I ever did was update from cdma to gsm. With cdma a lot of times I would only get every 3rd syllable and I was ready to dump ATT. With gsm the problems on voice just went away. I think at least in the west (Utah) they had to upgrade to gsm just to keep customers.

RE: Listen...
By Aquila76 on 12/13/2008 12:03:55 AM , Rating: 2
Just the truth. CDMA is the gayest thing being used in the US

I counter this with Sprint's push-to-talk.

RE: Listen...
By GaryJohnson on 12/13/2008 5:25:49 AM , Rating: 2
I really can't see the point of PTT for consumers. Why should you pay extra for half-duplex when you could use the full-duplex you're already paying for instead?

RE: Listen...
By JoshuaBuss on 12/13/2008 12:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
I concur with this assessment. PTT is sooo 1940's.

RE: Listen...
By ViroMan on 12/14/2008 12:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
ya I would have thought that too till I had a job in a warehouse once. Pretty much ALL the different drivers that came to pick up our stuff had PTT phones to there pickup coordinators. Im not just talking one company here im talking 5 different transportation companies. It was pretty much there new ham/cb radio without anyone else listening in.

By cocoviper on 12/13/2008 2:05:38 PM , Rating: 5
Man there are a LOT of comments here that are based on flat out false information. Here's my attempt to clean things up:

1-Sprint did not "miss out on every major phone launch this year." Besides the Instinct (which I have no idea why you're referring to it as a piece of trash) which was Sprint best selling handset of all time and Best Buy's best selling in the last 2+ years, Spring was also the first in the US to launch the HTC Touch Diamond and the HTC Touch Pro- and if that isn't a major phone launch then why did every other carrier pick it up after Sprint (Verizon kept the same names, ATT calls it the Fuze)? Not to mention on Forbes holiday device guide 6 of the 10 top devices were Sprint phones.

2-Clearwire is now the owner of all former Sprint Wimax assets. They've already launched 2 markets (Portland and Baltimore) and expect to launch Chicago shortly. I know for 2009 they're targeting Atlanta and Las Vegas as well as heavily looking into Grand Rapids, Dallas-Ft.Worth, Philadelphia, Boston, and L.A. You can also email them at to ask for service in your area and I know they will factor in the volume of requests the receive to their build plans.

Clearwire and Sprint are also offering a dual-mode 3G/4G aircard that will use Wimax in Wimax markets (typical 4Mb up (bursts up to 6-7Mb/s are common); 2Mb down), but then "roam" onto Sprint's EVDOrA (3G) network when not in Wimax coverage. This is compared to ATT which has a 3G network ONE FIFTH the size of Sprint's and T-Mobile which just began their 3G rollout 3 months ago.

3-Sprint will sell 4G Wimax services via an MVNO relationship with Clearwire. Clearwire will sell 3G EVDOrA services via an MVNO relationship with Sprint. This allows each carrier to leverage the strengths of the other without the operational distraction of maintaining multiple networks (which we've seen with iDEN Nextel is a bad deal).

4-Wimax is far cheaper to deploy due to Intel's involvement (who we all know as evidenced by WiFi has a successful business model based on giving away intellectual property and encouraging massive and cheap deployments of a standard), and IP issues (why do you think it is that carriers have to subsidize 3G cards to get them close to $99 (and thus require a contract)? why do you think it is that Wimax cards are $50 or less and don't have subsidies or contracts?)

5-Sprint's PTT hasn't been marketed or intended for consumers for years, but businesses sure like it. Sprint has 17 Million PTT subscribers, guaranteed comm links (if it beeps the connection is guaranteed) and sub-second setup times. If we want to make fun of PTT- try out verizon with their 1-5 second setup times, ~100,000 users, and non-guaranteed call setup (your phone could beep via PTT and you could be talking to no one for 5-10 seconds before it lets you know).

6-SIM cards aka Tokens are a technological aspect of GSM (the standard ATT and T-Mobile use), Verizon and Sprint CAN'T ADOPT SIM CARDS FOR CDMA. It's like telling VCR Makers that you want DVD Menus on your VHS tapes. CDMA still produces better call quality but GSM has definitely closed the distance over the last decade.

It is worth noting that Clearwire/Sprint's Wimax network is setup to authenticate based on the user not the device. So if you register a device to your name it can jump on at anytime- i.e. you pay one fee for the service, not $60/ device. And anytime you want to sell a device or buy a new one it's no problem. Most tests show you can go from having a new device in the box to fully on the network in your home in 15 minutes or less.

Am I saying that Wimax vs. LTE won't be a challenge? No way. 2010-2011 is going to be a massive fight. But saying that Verizon is going to somehow walk in with an easy deployment and that the 3.2 Billion in cash and $15 billion in network assets Clearwire has + the 2-3 year headstart doesn't matter? You guys are nuts.

Intel is backing this and surely those of us in the tech community are smart enough to not write someone off that has tech that works today, is cheaper and faster than what's out there, has the backing of Intel and Google, and has boats of cash...

RE: Misinformation
By Targon on 12/15/2008 7:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
Intel has been known to pump a lot of money into projects that fail, with the Pentium Pro and Itanium being the two big failures that spring to mind.

So, just because something has backing from Intel doesn't mean it will be an automatic winner. It may help, but it's not an automatic thing.

Now, the biggest problem with the Sprint/Nextel service isn't how good their service is in good coverage areas, it is how bad the service is in rural areas. You have better coverage from Verizon or AT&T based on the market, then you have Sprint/Nextel, and way down on the list is T-mobile which doesn't provide service in many areas. With GSM being the standard in Europe and other parts of the world, those who travel outside of the USA would be better off with AT&T just for the convenience of being able to use the same phone, even if the SIM chip may need to be swapped in some parts of the world.

RE: Misinformation
By the goat on 12/15/2008 8:58:19 AM , Rating: 2
with the Pentium Pro and Itanium being the two big failures that spring to mind

You have a strange sense of failure. The Pentium Pro architecture (P6) was the basis of the Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium M, Celeron M, Core Solo, Core Duo, and Pentium Dual-Core processors. All were major consumer desktop successes. Also the Pentium Pro was marketed as a server CPU, where it was very successful (so were the server derivatives: Pentium II Xeon, Pentium III Xeon).

I would argue that Itanium was a success as well. Itanium killed future development of the DEC Alpha CPU architecture. The DEC Alpha replacement ended up being x86 with 64bit extensions. But that wouldn't have happened without Itanium stopping the development first. FYI, I predicted this scenario when Itanium was first announced.

RE: Misinformation
By Dephcon on 12/15/2008 10:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
Actually there were plans to introduce SIM-like cards into CDMA, a RUIM. In fact my CDMA Nokia 6265i has a RUIM slot on it.

Why the carriers in Canada never adopted it are obvious, like like nickel and dimming everyone for $25 to do a handset swap. As well they both finally came to the conclusion that CDMA is balls and are going HSPA/LTE.

By foolsgambit11 on 12/12/2008 7:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
I can just skip 3G altogether. I'm still back on an old 2G phone. I would say at least I have a cell, but, what, over half the world's population has a cell phone?

RE: Sweet
By StevoLincolnite on 12/13/2008 7:50:57 AM , Rating: 2
Well I think 4G might be a little to Premature in some places, Here in Australia Optus has had nothing but trouble with there 3G services and actually had the "Worst Reliability and Speed" for a 3G provider in the world. (Information can be found at whirlpool).

Telstra has just acknowledged a bug with it's 3G network as well, with parts of the country experiencing major issues.

I just hope if they roll out 4G, that 3G wont be forgotten about and left to fade in the background, and that they learn from the troubles they have had with 3G when rolling out 4G.

Sad part about it is that Optus is a Major Telco which resells it's services to several other Phone Company's in Australia like Virgin, Exetel etc' - so if that Network has issues all the others do like a Domino effect.

At the moment 3 Mobile has made some good strides however, hopefully they continue to take Market share from Telstra and Optus and actually provide for some more competition.

I'm also on Digital/GSM/2G and find it fine, I rarely leave town anyway, and use my phone almost exclusively for work and music. (It's a Nokia Xpress Music Phone). - I couldn't be happier.

Bring it on....
By breethon on 12/12/2008 8:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
I live in nowhereville and am excited about the prospect of anything over a 512k/128k connection. Right now I have a private sort of wifi connection - I have sweet latency, it just isn't that reliable, especially when it storms.

I'm pretty sure that 4G will fail...
By on 12/13/08, Rating: -1
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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