Optical/IP Networks

Verizon Unveils LTE Open Device Specs

Verizon Wireless has announced its first Long Term Evolution (LTE) specifications for the "open" devices that will use its upcoming proto-4G network.

The largest CDMA operator in the U.S. will start to go commercial with LTE late in 2009, with a wider launch in 2010. The LTE specifications will be useful for vendors developing cards, PDAs, and other devices.

Verizon's 31-page document covers elements such as hardware specifications and multi-antenna requirements. Readers can register to check out the specifications at https://www22.verizon.com/opendev.

"Verizon Wireless is planning to launch LTE network service based on the 3GPP Release 8 specifications [ratified in March 2009]. Verizon Wireless is planning to support 3GPP Release 9 specifications in the future," the document reads.

This marks a key technical difference between Verizon's planned broadband network and the mobile WiMax network that Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) is brewing. Verizon's device "shall support Frequency-Division Duplex (FDD) LTE operation... Time-Division Duplex (TDD) operation is not required for LTE in 3GPP Band 13," says the spec document.

FDD radio systems use separate channels for upstream and downstream communications. TDD systems use one channel, employing timing trickery to distinguish upstream and downstream signals. It is not yet 100 percent clear yet what -- if any -- effect this will have on usability of devices on each network.

Verizon started to move its CDMA network to an open access model last year. Open access rules were part of the conditions that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed when selling the 700 MHz C-band that Verizon's LTE network will use.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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