Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Verizon Wireless Selects Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent for LTE

Verizon Wireless confirmed plans to move ahead with its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) migration and named Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as primary network vendors for its initial LTE network deployments in the United States. Verizon Wireless has selected Starent Networks as a key supplier for the packet core. 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. The company said that by leveraging its 700 MHz spectrum, it will be able to quickly deploy an LTE network with excellent coverage and in-building penetration, and all at a cost structure significantly below current levels.

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.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Dick Lynch, Verizon executive vice president and chief technology officer, 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."

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 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.

"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.

"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."

The company has also established a 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.

Verizon Wireless also noted success results of LTE field testing using existing spectrum in Minneapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Northern New Jersey. Vodafone has conducted similar LTE trials in Budapest, Dusseldorf, and Madrid 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.


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