Verizon Wireless said Wednesday that it is testing 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service with the aim of launching commercial service in 2010. Verizon Wireless said the 4G LTE network in field trials has demonstrated download rates of 50 to 60 megabits per second, but the final speeds are to be determined.
Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE deployment uses the company's recently acquired 700 MHz spectrum. 4G LTE is a rival technology to WiMax, which is backed by Sprint, Clearwire and tech industry heavyweights such as Intel. The 700 MHz spectrum had been used for television signals, but was acquired by Verizon, AT&T and others in an FCC auction.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Verizon CTO Dick Lynch outlined some of the details behind its next generation network. Among the key points:
- Verizon has named Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as primary vendors for initial LTE deployments. Starent Networks is the packet core vendor.
- 4G LTE trials are underway in the U.S. in Europe with Vodfone's help (Verizon Wireless is a Vodafone-Verizon joint venture).
- Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent will supply an "IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) network. The IMS will allow for converged applications on wireless and broadband networks.
- While Verizon is building out LTE service it expects to continue with 3G service "well into the next decade."
4G LTE networks in the following areas in Minneapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Northern New Jersey and in Budapest, Dusseldorf, and Madrid in Europe. Once those trials are complete, Verizon Wireless said it will ramp up deployment through its coverage area.