Verizon's rollout of its 4G Long Term Evolution network is in the trial phase in three metro areas, and lucky testers are seeing peak speeds of 60Mbps—wireless. Best of all, 2010 commercial launch is confirmed.
Though AT&T seems to be talking excitedly about its own LTE network—a technology that derives from the GSM networks that AT&T and T-Mobile run, and not the CDMA networks of Sprint and Verizon—Verizon really will be first, and at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Verizon CTO Dick Lynch made a point of letting the world know it. Most of the chatter was stuff we'd published before, but the coolest part of the released statement, about the current and upcoming trials, was new:
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, Düsseldorf, 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.
WiMax is already here, and Sprint has proven to be adept at rolling out next-generation data services, but still, I can't help but think that between Verizon and AT&T, LTE will definitely be the 4G technology of choice in America. [More Mobile World Congress 2009 Coverage]