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CTIA 2009: Verizon LTE Goin' Steady

LAS VEGAS -- CTIA Wireless 2009 -- During a keynote today, Verizon Wireless didn't have much new to say about LTE, having essentially blown its wad in Barcelona announcing the vendors for the new proto-4G network.

The largest CDMA operator in the U.S. is pretty much sticking to its announced schedule for LTE. This means a couple of trial markets in late 2009 and commercial launch in 2010 as soon as the operator thinks it has a large enough footprint. By the end of 2010, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CEO Ivan Sidenberg is expecting to have "25 to 30 markets" online by the end of 2010. (See MWC 2009: Verizon Picks LTE Vendors.)

Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam, meanwhile, added at the press Q&A session afterward that the operator hopes to start commercial launches of LTE markets "very early in the new year." LTE spending in 2009 will stay on track with what CTO Dick Lynch has already laid out, the two executives reiterated. That is, Verizon expects capital expenditures of around $17 billion in 2009, splitting that spend between EV-DO and LTE.

Sidenberg noted in his keynote that Verizon is eventually looking forward to "400 to 500 percent penetration" in the mobile market, later explaining that the move to LTE makes this possible.

This is because the operator is expecting that "non-traditional devices" such as cameras, MP3 players, and even everyday household items such as stereo systems and refrigerators will someday connect to the network.

This is not too dissimilar to the concept that Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)'s Barry West has also talked about with WiMax.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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