Verizon Wireless Readies 4G Network

November 30th, 2007 - 11:54 pm ICT by admin  

In its second big announcement this week, Verizon Wireless said that it would develop its fourth generation mobile broadband network using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. This means that the company, co-owned by Verizon and by European carrier Vodafone, will move to the GSM camp from its current residence in the CDMA crowd.

Earlier this week, Verizon Wireless announced that it was moving toward an open network on which outside devices or software could be used. This declaration of openness followed the company’s initial opposition to a similar open policy for 700-MHz frequencies to be auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission in January. The FCC eventually adopted an open devices policy for the auction.

Up to 100 Mbps

For users, the future is promising very fast wireless transmission. Verizon’s announcement means that the company will begin testing network equipment as it moves to LTE technologies, which can provide downlink speeds for data as high as 100 Mbps, and uplink speeds as high as 50 Mbps.

But the biggest potential impact for device owners in the U.S. will be the ability to use Verizon-supplied devices, without adaptation, in the many countries that support GSM. An estimated 80 percent of the world’s mobile devices use GSM technology, and so do AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and other European carriers.

Chris Hazelton, an analyst with industry research firm IDC, said that this leaves Sprint and Alltel as the only major CDMA carriers in the U.S. Some carriers in South America and South Korea use CDMA. He also said that the move to LTE will continue the trend of embedding wireless data access in consumer devices, not just in phones or mobile business devices.

LTE is the “best technology with global scale” to deliver on the promise of “embedded wireless in virtually every piece of electronics you buy in…

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