It wasn’t long ago that Verizon wrapped up its LTE tests in Boston where footage of tests in a pizza parlor, and recently the carrier has announced that its 4G technical trials are complete. During those tests, Verizon’s LTE network was reaching speeds of 8.55Mbps down and 2.8Mbps up, which is nearly ten times faster than what users see, on average, on its EVDO Rev A network. Now that technical trials are completed and hardware manufacturers are beginning to design devices for the Verizon LTE network, tests are moving onto user trials.
The “friendly user trials” as Verizon calls them will take place in five cities, but it’s not saying which cities those will be just yet. During these tests, the carrier will be looking for user feedback on the network. Michelle Gilbert of Verizon Wireless PR says, “Verizon Wireless is tapping select users in select cities for the friendly user tests, but is not disclosing details about these users.” Doh! The first set of users is likely going to be company employees and maybe those involved with the hardware, but who knows? There could be a chance that current customers could be used in the testing.
Meanwhile, not to be outdone by all the 4G-ness of Sprint and Verizon, AT&T announced that it is throwing $19 billion into its own network to continue boosting its HSPA+ speed and coverage. Fast and solid 3G coverage from AT&T just might manage to do fine even though it doesn’t plan on beginning its LTE technical tests until next year. That means the carrier could be nearly two years behind its competitors with bringing 4G technology to its customers. Of course, with so many users getting locked into their contracts even further by the new iPhone 4, is AT&T really sweatin’ the competition right now?