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Verizon Possibly Readying iPhone Announcment

NEW YORK – Marketers and analysts
will be watching closely tomorrow for the details of what’s expected to be an announcement
by Verizon Wireless that it will launch an Apple iPhone to compete with
AT&T’s iPhone.

Observers will look to see if
Verizon’s version of the iPhone will offer any enhanced features over the
AT&T version, whether Verizon will offer the device with tiered data plans
to stick with its single unlimited-data smartphone plan, and whether the device
will incorporate Verizon’s4G LTE (long-term evolution) data technology or use
its 3G CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A network.

Other things to look for include
whether the phone will offer HSPA data technology in the foreign 2.1GHz band to
expand the iPhone’s international roaming capability to compete with that of
AT&T’s iPhone.

Longer term, observers will look
to see if Verizon’s iPhone attracts AT&T iPhone users to a network regarded
by Consumer Reports as far more reliable, attracts new subscribers to the
iPhone platform, or both.

Should the Verizon iPhone operate on Verizon’s
LTE network, now in 38 markets, data speeds would far exceed those of
AT&T’s iPhone, which operates on AT&T’s HSPA network, which downloads
data at an average 700Kbps to 1.7MBps, compared with the Verizon LTE network’s
5Mbps to 12Mbps. Verizon’s 3G network delivers data at average downloads of 600Kbps
to 1.4MBps download, slightly slower than AT&T’s HSPA network.