We’ve known for some time that Verizon has put their faith in the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard upon which to build their 4G network. And, following on the GSMA’s support of LTE as the 4G standard of choice, Verizon has announced that they will be kicking off trials of their LTE network in 2008. The trials will be conducted in a joint effort with Verizon Wireless venture-partner, Vodafone. Now, it’s going to a good, long, while before the network goes live – we’re looking for 2010 network launch – but it’s encouraging to hear that Verizon Wireless and Vodafone have made the commitment with network trials.
LTE promises to bring 100Mbps downstream and 50Mbps upstream data speeds (theoretical of course, we’ll see how that pans out in real life) with a latency reduced to 20ms – which is an impressive bump-up from Verizon’s current EVDO Rev. A data speeds of 1.4Mbps on the downlink. And, with Vodafone hopping on board the LTE-bandwagon, customers on either network can expect to roam on the partner-networks without the need for dual-mode handsets like the Motorola RIZR Z6c “World Edition” handset that’s slated to hit Verizon’s network in the near future.
Additionally, AT&T is set to adopt LTE as their 4G network standard, so we could see interoperability between the rival networks – a first for the top-two wireless carriers. And, with Verizon’s newly announced plan to open their network to “any app, any device,” we could certainly see AT&T LTE handsets being ported to Verizon’s network in the future.
Poor little Sprint and their WiMAX XOHM service. The lagging wireless carrier has yet to kick off their 4G network plans and the market leaders have already chosen a competing standard. We like rooting for the little guy, but Sprint sure isn’t making it easy.