Monday, September 21, 2009

Verizon Wireless Outlines its Road to LTE

Verizon Wireless must focus not only on building the most reliable next-generation 4G LTE wireless network in the country -- and one of the first on the globe -- but must also take a proactive approach in developing the mobile ecosystem, said Tony Melone, Verizon Wireless senior vice president and chief technology officer, speaking at the 2009 PCIA Wireless Infrastructure Show. Melone confirmed the company's LTE network build plan, saying Verizon Wireless plans to launch in 25 to 30 markets in 2010 and cover virtually all of its current nationwide 3G footprint with the next-generation network by the end of 2013. So far, everything is on schedule.

"We can build all the bells and whistles and make lots of bold claims, but none of it will matter if the network - and all of the underlying infrastructure that supports the network - isn't fundamentally reliable," Melone said. "I can promise you that reliability will continue to differentiate Verizon Wireless in the marketplace. And that is also what will differentiate the suppliers we choose. There will be no substitute for good old-fashioned engineering: reliability built in at the start based on rigid engineering standards and a disciplined approach year after year will continue to be our mantra."

Melone outlined a number of collaborative initiatives undertaken by Verizon Wireless:

  • Open Development - established to help third-party developers create and certify devices to run on the company's network. To date, the company has certified more than 55 devices - mostly specialized machine-to-machine (M2M) units - to run on its 3G network. As a result, Verizon Wireless now has a tested and proven process to certify the multitude of specialty devices that will come as the 4G ecosystem evolves.

  • Verizon LTE Innovation Center - serving as an incubator for early development of both traditional and non-traditional products for use on Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network. The company is actively working with several strategic partners to help the consumer electronics industry quickly bring products to market, helping to play the role of matchmaker between the hardware and device companies and the software and application developers.

  • The Verizon Developer Community and V CAST Apps - a robust group of application developers are helping the company bring innovative applications to its customers through Verizon Wireless' forthcoming application store. V CAST Apps will launch by the end of the year so that developers can take advantage of the company's scale and distribution to market their applications to Verizon Wireless customers.

  • Joint Innovation Lab - a member of the venture with China Mobile, Softbank and Vodafone, Verizon Wireless is at the forefront in developing a software platform that will allow developers to create their mobile applications to run seamlessly across multiple operating systems.

  • Designated M2M Focus for Important Market Segments - Verizon Wireless recently formed a joint venture with Qualcomm aimed at machine-to-machine wireless services for a variety of vertical market segments, including healthcare, manufacturing, utilities, distribution and consumer products.