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

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:04:58 PM
re: TIA: Verizon Sees Need for Speed


And say what?

Thank you for doing the only large scale FTTH build in North America?  There is no requirement that anybody do anything like this.  Which is why if we want very high speed Internet to be ubiquitous then we need it to be a Universal Service and make it a requirement.  Otherwise, it will be delivered where companies want to deliver it.



viewer29 12/5/2012 | 5:04:58 PM
re: TIA: Verizon Sees Need for Speed

   Verizon talks a great game...high speed tests in Massachusetts, and 150 Mb/s to the home user...but they have failed in their buildouts. As an example, I am a Verizon SOHO customer in an upscale neighborhood in Los Angeles who has been stuck with 1.8Mb/s DSL for the last 10 years!

   FiOS service is available 4 blocks away, but not on my street because Verizon refuses to "follow the rules" and install the service underground as required. Time Warner had no problem doing so. Repeated calls and emails to Verizon didn't get any kind of answer until I was finally told by a Verizon sales rep that "our buildouts are on hold because we're not making money with FiOS".

   As a VAR, I know that this is a common problem across Los Angeles. It probably is in other Verizon markets too. Why is no one calling them out on this?

   Great test speeds are completely meaningless if you can't deliver the service!


DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:04:51 PM
re: TIA: Verizon Sees Need for Speed

How have they failed in their build-outs? I think what you mean is that they have built FiOS to serve only areas where they get the quickest return on their investment. That's generally how public companies behave. 

LA and Dallas are similar in that just a few feet can make or break the numbers on a service like FiOS or U-verse. That won't change. In the meantime, cheer for the cable companies to keep improving their networks and maybe when a little more competitive hits Verizon will stretch out and reach more homes.

fanfare 12/5/2012 | 5:03:06 PM
re: TIA: Verizon Sees Need for Speed

CEO stated about a year ago that new area builds would be on hold until the company saw better penetration in the areas where FiOS is available.


The reason for the mediocre penetration is not fully understood IMO. So many ppl say they would swtich providers in a minute if given the chance, but cable is working hard to keep it's customer base.  When FiOS moves into an area, cable begins to offer promotions, discounts, etc. and from what I've heard, more personalized customer service.  Also, many ppl just don't pay much attention to where they buy their TV service.  As long as they get 300 channels, they don't care unless there is a significan't cost savings.  For example: I had cable for years off and on, but never bothered to try satellite because I always went with what I knew.  When I finally tried Direct TV, I began to appreciate the increase in HD chans, better picture etc.  But I had to buy a new 55 Samsung LED 8000 before I bothered to look into stuff like that.  Point is, penetration will happen eventually IMO (unless cable drops their prices ... and they may), but there are a lot of folks who are just not bothering to worry about the bells and whistles .. and increased bandwidth.  Now, as the need for bandwidth increases .... and ppl begin to realize that the speeds cable co's offer are not the speeds they are actually getting ... well, then FiOS will begin to take over.

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