Feature Article

November 22, 2010

Verizon Suggests December Launch Date for 4G LTE Wireless Network

Verizon will launch its fourth-generation LTE wireless network in December of 2010, according to a commercial that the telecom giant ran during a telecast of NBC's Sunday Night Football.

The 30-second spot, which describes the upcoming offering as "the most advanced 4G network in the world," is sure to be the first of many advertising campaigns revolving around Verizon's next-generation network.

While the commercial gives consumers a better idea as to when the network will be turned on, it is still unclear whether 4G service will be available before the holiday shopping season.

Dan Hays, director of the telecommunications practice at PRTM, told Wireless Week that Verizon will need to launch the network early in December if it wants to take advantage of liberal holiday spending.

"If you don't launch by Dec. 1, you're likely missing out on the opportunity for significant holiday sales," he told the news source.

Verizon noted in October that the initial 4G LTE launch will cover one-third of Americans, including all those residing in the nation's top markets. The service will be rolled out to 110 million people residing in 38 major metropolitan cities, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Verizon has also inked similar deals with approximately 60 domestic and international airports.

For the first few months following the launch of the fourth-generation LTE wireless network, Verizon will not be offering compatible phones. Instead, the company will provide users with 4G data cards that will give them access to the network.

Verizon's chief executive officer Ivan Seidenberg recently told the Wall Street Journal that the company expects to introduce a number of 4G-enabled devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The handsets should be available for purchase in early February of 2011.

He also told the news source that Verizon's involvement in the inevitable move to 4G has helped the company's relationship with Apple, which has had an almost-monogamous relationship with AT&T for years now.

"Our interests are beginning to come together more but they have to take steps to align their technology with ours," Seidenberg said.

To check out Verizon's new commercial, click here.

Beecher Tuttle is a MobilityTechzone contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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