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Verizon: Rivals Can't Match Our 4G Reach

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s CEO believes his rivals won't be able to match the operator's lead on 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) any time soon.

Verizon Wireless currently has hundreds more towns and cities up on LTE than its nearest rival, with 441 markets now live. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) presently has 109 LTE markets, while Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has 43. (See AT&T Adds More 4G LTE Cities, AT&T Plans LTE-Advanced in 2H13 and Sprint's 4G LTE: The Numbers Game.)

"You don't make up the kind of lead we've got within a couple of quarters," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said at a UBS AG conference in New York on Tuesday morning. "We're going to hang onto that and think about what 5G and 6G means next."

McAdam said that the operator is seeing good volumes and availability for its best-selling iPhone and LTE Android devices. He says that the company's new rate plans allow users to add a 4G tablet for $10 a month and pull data from a bucket of data shared between devices. (See Verizon to Roll Out Sharable Data Buckets .)

"Just over the holidays we saw a big tick-up in tablet activations," noted McAdam.

This LTE muscle will help Verizon start to sell new products nationwide through its new cable partnerships in the first half of 2013. McAdam said that the first priority is getting Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) customers onto Verizon Wireless's network.

Verizon and its cable partners plan to move ahead on applications that help users access and manage services at home and while they're on the move. "You see the power of being able to take those applications anywhere, anytime," says McAdam.

Spectrum sale update
Verizon still can't say exactly what its plans are for an A and B 700MHz sale now that its spectrum swap deal with the cable companies is turning into a sales partnership. Verizon said in April 2012 it planned to sell A and B Block spectrum it won at auction in 2008, if it won its bid for an Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum swap. The swap was approved at the end of August. (See Verizon CFO: Spectrum Sale to 'Play Out' in Q1.) "We had a lot of interest in the spectrum; we've sold off a few smaller licenses," says McAdam. He expects to announce a final decision on whether Verizon will sell it off or use it for its own applications in early January.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:33 PM
re: Verizon: Rivals Can't Match Our 4G Reach

The CEO said it is a side business for them, "a 10 percenter," as he described it.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:31 PM
re: Verizon: Rivals Can't Match Our 4G Reach

True, but users don't care/understand about spectrum, they care about cool gadgets. Clearwire can't make that happen yet.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:30 PM
re: Verizon: Rivals Can't Match Our 4G Reach

If you take the FauxG service and the 4G LTE service of AT&T or T-Mobile and compare the two, it is a lot less of a difference than the 4G LTE service that Verizon Wireless offers compared to their 3G.  Verizon Wireless had to do a speedy rollout of LTE as their network was stagnant for the most part from the lack of an upgrade path on the EV-DO side.


Being first doesn't mean being the winner at the end.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:27 PM
re: Verizon: Rivals Can't Match Our 4G Reach

Dan is right. Users really dont care / understand what spectrum does for them and therefore is not a buying factor for them. Also Clearwire dont have any low RF spectrum I believe. Just massive blocks around 2.5GHz. Also not many of the OEMs have macro radios for Band 41, so rolling out major infrastructure isnt too easy either. With only 2,000 BTS planned for next year.....Clearwire is rather near the bottom of Verizon's worry list


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