Size Matters for LTE, Verizon CTO Says

NEW ORLEANS -- International CTIA Wireless -- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CTO Tony Melone says there is "no way" that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s coming Long Term Evolution (LTE) network will beat the performance of his company's existing 4G deployment, simply because Big Red is working with fatter pipes than its rival.

Melone made the statement at an Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) event here on Tuesday afternoon. He was answering a question from BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk about Sprint claims that it will offer a comparable LTE experience to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon using smaller channels.

AT&T and Verizon have started with 10MHz by 10MHz channels in the 700MHz band for their 4G LTE deployments. Sprint will use 5MHz by 5MHz channels in the 1900MHz PCS band for its LTE service, due to launch in six cities by mid-year. (See Sprint to Launch LTE by Mid-2012.)

"There's no way a 5X5 network can perform like a 10X10 network," Melone told the analyst.

He did note that if a network is "fully loaded" with users, it could start to drag on performance. All things being equal, however, bigger channels always provide better LTE performance, according to the Verizon CTO.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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