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