San Francisco - Verizon Wireless will go to January's International CES with an array of 4G-equipped devices ranging from tablets, 3G/4G smartphones and machine-to-machine products following the launch later this year of its 4G 700MHz LTE network in 38 markets, Verizon president/COO Lowell McAdam said during the CTIA convention here.
The products, including "devices for video," will be available in the first half of 2011 following the launch later this year of wireless modems for laptops, McAdam said.
Without referring to the recent decision by FLO TV to wind down its direct-to-consumer mobile TV subscription service, Verizon Wireless chief technical officer Tony Melone noted that in friendly user trials, "as expected," the network was "very, very conducive to video, upstream video and downstream video." Verizon "plans to exploit the network for that use," he added.
Without saying that Apple will bring its iPhone or iPad to Verizon's LTE network, McAdam did say, "I expect at some point our business interests are going to align." He then pointed to LTE as a good reason for Apple to bring its products to Verizon.
The network, he said, will deliver 10 times the speed of Verizon's 3G network with half the latency, the executives said. When the network was fully loaded during friendly user trials, Melone explained, downlink speeds ranged from 5Mbps to 12Mbps, and uplink speeds ranged from 2Mbps to 5Mbps. Latency was 30ms.
McAdam said he'd reveal the precise 4G launch date and pricing plans at a later date. In the 38 launch markets, the 4G footprint will on average cover about 70 percent of the carrier's 3G footprint in those markets, McAdam said. LTE networks will also be online at that time in 62 airports, including seven airports not in the 38 markets, and on the Purdue University campus in Lafayette, Ind.
Within 18 months from today, McAdam continued, the network will expand to markets with a population of about 200 million people, and by the end of 2013, the 4G network will reach almost as many people as Verizon's 3G network, or more than 285 million people, he said.
The LTE footprint will expand beyond that under a plan in which rural carriers will lease Verizon-owned 700MHz spectrum, McAdam added. Verizon will partner with those carriers to help them obtain better prices on infrastructure and allow their subscribers to roam on Verizon's network, he said. Five carriers have already reached agreements with Verizon, and another 12 are finalizing agreements, McAdam said.
In other comments, McAdam said the LTE products demonstrated at CES will all be made by "mainstream OEMs." Melone said that planned smartphones will be dual 3G/4G phones offering simultaneous 3G voice and 4G data. And "clearly over time," McAdam said, Verizon will add pay-per-MB data plans to complement unlimited data plans because of "finite spectrum."
Melone also noted that LTE offers "quantum leaps" in "spectrum and capital efficiency," enabling Verizon to build out its LTE network with "no big spike" in its capital expenditures.
Major markets included in the 4G launch are Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and Rochester, N.Y. in the Northeast. Other markets include Miami and south Florida; Atlanta; Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston; New Orleans; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Chicago; St. Louis; the Minneapolis-St. Paul; Pittsburgh; major cities in Ohio; Seattle; Phoenix; Denver; Las Vegas; and major population centers in California.
Here's the full list:
Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Dallas, Texas
West Lafayette, Ind.
West Palm Beach, Fla.