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Development is expected to take some time

Verizon Wireless and AT&T announced plans for their newly-won 700 MHz spectrum today, and the overall message is, “be patient.”

A press release from Verizon Wireless says that the company expects its 700 MHz network to go live by 2010, and it will be the home of its future 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless network. As required by the FCC, Verizon’s network will be fully open to access for all manner of software and devices, and the company hints that it expects to see use from a variety of consumer electronics, including wireless phones, medical devices and gaming consoles.

“This is the very best spectrum with excellent propagation and in-building characteristics. We also believe that the combination of the national, contiguous, same-frequency C-block footprint and our transition to LTE will make Verizon the preferred partner for developers of a new wave of consumer electronics and applications using this next generation technology,” said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

Meanwhile, AT&T thinks that its spectrum winnings, which are free of the C-block’s heavy FCC regulations, will allow it to roll out a 700 MHz wireless services even faster than Verizon. “With fewer costly and complex regulations, we have the certainty and flexibility needed to move faster in rolling out new mobile technology,” said AT&T executive Ralph de la Vega.

AT&T will also employ LTE technology, which analysts expect to carry the wireless industry past its current 3G GSM and CDMA infrastructures. However, many seem to think that LTE technology may not be ready until 2011 – a full two years after the 700 MHz’s vacancy in 2009.

De la Vega also said he is embracing Google’s open-source Android platform, which AT&T expects to use for “data and content.”

The announcements come on the lifting of the FCC’s gag order last night, which prohibited companies from discussing auction details due to concerns over collusion.

Google was quick to chime in as well, noting that it was more than happy to not win any spectrum: a post on the official Google Blog confirmed suspicions that the company met the C-block’s reserve price solely to insure its open-access requirement, which the company spearheaded earlier last year.

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RE: 8 Years to use spectrum
By Alexstarfire on 4/5/2008 11:25:04 AM , Rating: 4
Whatever happened to the 3G network? I mean, 4G sounds great on paper, but if it turns out like the 3G network has then pretty much no one in the US will be able to use it anyways. I love how AT&T gave me a 3G sim card, but have no 3G network anywhere near me.

RE: 8 Years to use spectrum
By RjBass on 4/5/2008 11:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you live? I am normally within range of a 3g tower. The only times I can't get 3g are when I am more out in rural farmland areas like anywhere in Kansas west of Kansas City.

The 3g networks from what I understand are in most of the major metropolitan areas and still expanding.

RE: 8 Years to use spectrum
By Alexstarfire on 4/6/2008 4:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Just outside of Atlanta. Actually, according to the 3g network map that ATT has I should have it, but my phone would beg to differ. It's supposed to have a little 3g icon when it's in a 3g network, but it don't got one and I've never seen one on it. I actually just switched it from GSM only to GSM/3G and absolutely nothing changed. Course, it could be that my phone isn't fully updated, but thanks to Sony I really don't have a way to update it for free. I either get charged $.01 per KB on a 3044KB download on my phone, or I don't get it at all. The stupid Update Service program they have for the computer doesn't find an update despite my phone having a firmware that's over 10 updated old.

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