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TIA: Verizon Sees Need for Speed

Verizon CTO touts the speed of its FiOS fiber network and LTE, which he says are necessary to cope with the pervasiveness of video

Sarah Thomas

May 19, 2011

2 Min Read
TIA: Verizon Sees Need for Speed

DALLAS – TIA 2011 -- Pervasive high-definition video is transforming wireline and wireless networks and is the reason Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is testing the speed limit on its fiber-based FiOS network and all-IP Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.

Verizon FiOS, which spans 16 million households, was designed to handle the growing volume of HD content available today, Tony Melone, executive VP and CTO of Verizon and former CTO of Verizon Wireless , told TIA attendees in his keynote address Thursday. And he's not worried about meeting future demand either.

"FiOS is a great example of building a high-definition network to meet customer demands and needs over the next decade," he said. This has enabled Verizon to increase broadband speeds to 150 megabytes per second, which means consumers can download full-length HD movies in just 4.5 minutes.

Verizon engineers have also tested 1 gigabyte per second to the home over existing fiber, as well as 10-gigabyte-per-second speeds with next-generation PON technologies. On this future network, the same HD movie would download in 4.5 seconds, Melone said.

"Whether we'll see the need for those speeds is debatable," he added, admitting that the industry seems to have underestimated bandwidth and consumer demands every step of the way. "We can't afford to do that. We as an industry have to be prepared to meet it."

Verizon's FiOS network is increasingly converging with its high-speed LTE network, which Melone said would reach 175 markets by the end of the year and the entire country within the next three years. Here again, speed tests have exceeded Verizon's expectations, he said. But the "wow factor" is the low latency of the network that enables two-way video, mobile gaming and enterprise opportunities in health care, smart energy and education. (See Verizon Speeds Up LTE Expansion and Verizon Devising Uber Strategy for Home Services.)

Verizon will have 10 LTE smartphones by mid-year and is in the process of testing voice-over LTE. Melone stressed that the carrier is not abandoning its 3G CDMA and will also implement Wi-Fi solutions to support its customer usage patterns. It takes more than a fatter pipe, he said. It takes advanced intelligence built into all the networks.

"Just as we think LTE and fiber are the technology platforms of the future, we believe collaboration and openness are the platforms of the future," Melone said.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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