This was one of several news announcements from the 2009 Mobile World Congress. For more about the conference, click here.
BARCELONA, SPAIN, and BASKING RIDGE, N.J. -- In a move that will jump-start deployment of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks globally, Dick Lynch, Verizon executive vice president and chief technology officer, detailed plans to build America's first next-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) network during his keynote remarks at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 18, 2009.
Lynch announced that Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, has selected Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as primary network vendors for its initial LTE network deployments in the United States.
Verizon's announcement comes on the heels of industry-leading LTE network trials in the United States and Europe, carried out in conjunction with Vodafone. These two vendors are expected to build the underlying infrastructure that will enable Verizon Wireless to become the first wireless company to offer commercial LTE-based service in the United States, starting in 2010.
Lynch said, "Verizon Wireless' LTE network deployment will be driven by our vision of providing ubiquitous global wireless broadband connectivity and mobility. LTE enables us to continue to meet business customer demands for a higher bandwidth, low latency service that works broadly in the United States and globally, while helping us to meet consumer demand for mobilizing the many applications they frequently use when tethered to high bandwidth wired networks."
"Verizon Wireless' deployment of LTE sets a unified direction in enabling true, global wireless broadband and Ericsson is proud to be a part of this historic occasion," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, president and chief executive officer, Ericsson. "We are not only providing Verizon Wireless with a complete LTE solution, we are also committing our global leadership in technology and standardization to help Verizon realize the promise of LTE during 2010. We look forward to a continued co-operation in the successful commercialization of LTE, which will enable a new, enhanced mobile broadband experience for consumers and enterprises throughout the United States."
"Verizon Wireless' ground-breaking move toward LTE underscores its commitment to accelerating and stimulating an environment that will offer its customers greater capacity and new services in more areas than ever before," said Ben Verwaayen, chief executive officer of Alcatel-Lucent. "With LTE's bandwidth and its ability to co-exist with the current 3G platform, we look forward to partnering with Verizon Wireless to build the next-generation foundation that will economically enable new forms of communications using both fixed and wireless, as well as mobile broadband."
Verizon Wireless also announced that in addition to Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, Starent Networks has been selected as a packet core vendor.
In addition, Verizon announced that Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent have been selected as key suppliers for the IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) network, which will enable rich multimedia applications regardless of access technology. IMS will be a cornerstone technology in the evolution of Verizon's services infrastructure. Verizon plans to offer IMS-based IP converged applications and services on its wireless and landline broadband networks. LTE will be one of the key wireless access networks linked to the IMS technology.
Lynch said building and offering commercial services over Verizon Wireless' LTE network, while also expanding its FiOS fiber network, is a consistent and complimentary strategy focused on a committed future in broadband. As has been previously reported, Verizon's total capital expenditures totaled roughly $17 billion USD in 2008. Lynch noted that LTE network costs would be within the company's overall program as spending shifts from older technologies to new strategic initiatives, such as LTE. The company expects to maintain commercial service on its 3G service well into the next decade.
"Vodafone is pleased to endorse Verizon Wireless' decision to select these vendors as part of their LTE deployment plans in the United States," said Steve Pusey, global chief technology officer for Vodafone. "As well as supporting these plans for the United States market, Vodafone continues to work in close cooperation with Verizon Wireless on a range of initiatives designed to drive the commercial development of LTE, including an extensive program of trials."
4G/LTE Innovation Center
Lynch also announced that Verizon Wireless expects to foster creative solutions connecting people, places and things wirelessly on its LTE network by creating the Verizon LTE Innovation Center, which will be based in the suburban Boston community of Waltham, Mass.
With support from founding partners Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, Lynch said the mission of the Innovation Center is to be the catalyst for early development of non-traditional products for use on LTE networks. A number of companies have already expressed interest in the Center, which will be solely focused on helping Verizon Wireless technology partners quickly develop and bring to market new and innovative LTE-based solutions within the consumer electronics, machine-to-machine, and business products segments.
Trials and Deployment
Utilizing their existing spectrum, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone have been field testing 4G LTE networks in Minneapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Northern New Jersey in the United States, as well as in Budapest, Dusseldorf, and Madrid in Europe, with a variety of network infrastructure providers.
These field trials have demonstrated download rates of 50 to 60 Mbps peak speeds, though actual average download results will not be determined until the commercial launch of the new Verizon Wireless LTE network. Utilizing its recently acquired 700 MHz spectrum, Verizon Wireless will expand trials this summer, and Lynch said the company will commercially launch its LTE network in 2010. Once the initial rollout is complete, plans are in place for aggressive deployment throughout Verizon Wireless' entire network, including areas not currently covered by the existing Verizon Wireless footprint.
By leveraging its 700 MHz spectrum for LTE deployment, Verizon Wireless is capable of quickly deploying a high-quality wireless broadband network with excellent coverage and in-building penetration, all at a cost structure significantly below current levels. Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, together with a broad group of LTE ecosystem suppliers -- infrastructure, device and technology companies -- have advanced the technology that will deliver unprecedented wireless broadband service for high performance mobile computing, multimedia, and consumer electronic devices and applications.
Advanced LTE-based wireless networks will support incredible new applications that businesses and consumers can only access today through high-speed wireline networks. In addition to simply faster e-mail and Internet access and better quality video services, wireless users will be able to take applications they are accustomed to using at home or in the office into the mobile world; roaming on other global LTE networks will provide portability to take those applications virtually anywhere on the planet. LTE also offers the possibility of providing coverage in some rural areas not currently served by wireless broadband. Most importantly, a wide-area wireless LTE network will be able to connect a full range of consumer electronics devices and machines to each other -- the holy grail of true wireless interconnectivity.
Lynch noted, "The appetite for new and innovative broadband services is insatiable: People want new and customized content, relevant information and services, and increased opportunities to communicate with each other and the world around them. With the promise of more advanced devices and applications, Verizon is ready to lead the way in harnessing the power of LTE, at the onset of the LTE revolution."