Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE

5:20 PM -- Verizon Wireless is playing it safe with its initial pricing for Long-Term Evolution (LTE), which will go live on December 5. (See Verizon to Launch LTE on Dec. 5.) The firm will offer laptop jockeys a choice of two USB modems for a hundred bucks each and 5GB of downloads for $50 or double that cap for $80. Every extra gigabyte over the cap costs $10 more.

This is just under $10 less than the $59.99 3G USB modem plan that Verizon currently offers. Comments from readers on our site suggest that most are initially underwhelmed by the plans.

Certainly it's nothing like the unlimited, pay-as-you-go plans that Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) put together for its Rover offering. $50 a month for unlimited data, or pay by the week or the day.

Still, I'm guessing that Verizon knows its audience and wants to encourage business travelers and other well-heeled users onto the service first. That way it gets a good chunk of user data to figure out usage patterns and any kinks fixed before more people get with the new service.

The interesting pricing plans will likely arrive with the consumer devices next year.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:16:51 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE

You make some valid points.

By Seidel, I assume you mean Seindenberg.  He will be gone as soon as Verizon buys the rest of the wireless business from Vodafone.

The wireless guys have only recently taken power.  A shakeup would probably be a little bit premature.

Is it not possible that Verizon is trying to win a war of attrition with Clearwire?

Have not all of the competitors including MSOs made misleading statements?

Is not fiber ultimately where the cable TV companies need to go within, say, 10 years, because its capacity is only limited by mankind's ability to develop low-cost electronics?

Mark, Telecom Pragmatics


comtech3 12/5/2012 | 4:16:51 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE

Poor Verizon, the lack of foresight by its management is going to spell its doom.For one,how does VZW expects to complete with Clearwire, MetroPC, and Sprint, by capping its service at 5GB /month at $50-$80,while their competitors offer unlimited for less.Surely boggles the mind.On another note. VZW  claims to now have the fastest 4G with their newly installed LTE at real-world throughput 5-6Mbps download and 1Mbps upload.A friend of mine has Clear WiMax in Philadelphia with the same throughput that VZW is touting for their LTE!

This the same Verizon who said that its Fios is faster than cable,but in reality,cable is faster in some instance,if not all.This is the same  verizon who said that cable Internet uses shared bandwidth unlike DSL which does'nt.Well, if should check the latest incantation of their Fios PON architecture, optical splitters are now being used to share the BW because of cost in running multiple dedicated fiber to the home.

Further proof that Verizon is in trouble, they had to ask for a bailout from the Obama administration to meet a payroll shortfall.Moreover,they have not paid a single dime in dividend to their partner,Vodafone, in years.

I foresee a major shakeup in Verizon's management coming down the pipe, Mr Seidel, the first casualty.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:16:50 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE

Yes, sharing a 2.5 Gb/s data channel between 32 customers is a lot worse than sharing a QAM group between 500.





opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 4:16:49 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE

"the latest incantation of their Fios PON architecture, optical splitters are now being used to share the BW because of cost in running multiple dedicated fiber to the home."

That is what PON is and always has been. If there are no optical splitters, then it isn't PON.

2.5G split among 16 houses gives 156Meg/house, and you can dynamically partition that bandwidth to support faster speeds.

sgan201 12/5/2012 | 4:16:46 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE


Copper is not going away?? Say who??  As far as I can tell, in USA, people are replacing their POTS line with mobile phone.

The fundamental problem with all wired approach for the last mile has to do with the wire.  That has significant labor cost associated with that.  And, that follows inflation rate.  Cost of labor to maintain cable is not going down.

Meanwhile, all the wireless approach evolves and improves using Moore's law.

You have a choice of

A) Wire to 100 homes and maintain the cable.

B) Maintain a base station and do wireless to the 100 homes.

In the long run, which one will cost less??

The same thing will happen to broadband Internet access.  Up to certain speed and level of reliability, many people will cut the wire.

From the provider side, the maintainence cost will be lower.  Hence, they can do it cheaper.


comtech3 12/5/2012 | 4:16:46 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE

The answer to that point about cableco changing course from HFC to fiber to the home is up in the air for now because HFC  still have a lot of potential left in it, namely IPTV and switched video, that would enhance their BW limitations.They may also remove all of their 750MHz gears to 862MHz,and either maintain the current sub-split for upstream,or do a mid-split.This coupled with upstream channel bonding can produce a tremendous amount of capacity at a lower cost than all fiber to the home.

Admittedly though, this comes with a price.With an 862MHz upgrade, the amplifier cascades would have to be closer to overcome the attenuation caused by an higher operational frequency,or to add more line extender cascase which will eventually have an adverse effect on service with the added noise figure(NF) of each amp.This defeats the purpose of the HFC architecture of fiber to the node which dictates 4-5 amp cascade per node.

Utilizing the upstream spectrum from 8-55MHz is not really a concern anymore as they're fewer ham radios around unlike years past.And 16 QAM has been found to be highly robust to withstand noise much the same as QPSK is.Right now,the cablecos are thinking about 32 QAM for the upstream,and possible 512 QAM for the downstream.

So, the old coax still have some life left in it,and tight and cost conscious as the cable companies are, they will endeavour to squeeze all they can from that coax.The big concern for them is the regular outages that occur with the HFC architecture and how long can they hold on to it and maintain 99.99 % reliability.Most outages are caused from bad feeder cables blowing fuses,or adverse weather.Having said that,this may sound contradictory,but that 99.99% is more achieveable with fiber to the home! For now,the installation cost and not material for doing that, is the mitigating factor,and already one telco has changed its strategy on fiber to the home to fiber to the curb.

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:16:46 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE


I do not disagree with what you are mainly saying, but copper is going to be around for a long time.  It is just the nature of public telecom networks -- the rate of obsolescence is very slow.  For example, despite the SONET revolution from a long time ago, there are still asynchronous M13 systems working in the US.

There is no question that wireless has made tremendous penetration into the market and that the number of POTS lines has significantly diminished.  However, the copper lines still have value.  Otherwise, the independent telcos would not be interested in purchasing even more of them from Verizon -- and presumably later from AT&T.

There are areas of the country that do not have access to coaxial or fiber -- nor will they be getting high-speed wireless anytime soon.  In order to get sufficient broadband capability, they will have no other choice in a lot of situations, but to go with DSL over copper.  (In some limited instances, satellite is the only unattractive alternative.)   Also, copper is often the only option that an independent can utilize to compete against a cable TV company.

The demand for copper use is demonstrated by the continuing investment made by vendors in getting higher capacity on copper.  Ethernet over copper can be used to provide services to businesses.  The independents are increasingly looking to do IPTV over the medium.  Any CLECs still offering service over copper are not going to necessarily disappear in the near future.

In addition, Verizon is getting pressured by the public utility commissions to provide broadband to areas outside of the FiOS footprint.  They will look to offer it over copper in some of these locations.


spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:16:46 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE

I could not agree with you more on all of your points.  When I say 10 years, that would be the earliest, and it still does not mean there would be a great deal of changeout even then.  Copper is not going away -- why should coaxial?  I would bet the carrier you were speaking of never was really serious about FTTH anyway.

At the same time, one or more of the MSOs has done at a least a little FTTH, especially in response to Verizon's FiOS.  Also, fiber continues to be pushed out closer to subscribers.

The fundamental assmption that I am making is that the country probably cannot remain competitive with the rest of the world without eventually going to a widespread fiber access infrastructure (again, regrettably, it will require federal government expenditures).  It is possible that will not take place for 15 to 20 years.


sgan201 12/5/2012 | 4:16:45 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE


In countries like Brazil and Vietnam, they use EVDO aka 3G over 450 MHz to serve those rural area.  So, I do not see why wireless at better frequency range cannot search this purpose in USA.



sgan201 12/5/2012 | 4:16:45 PM
re: Verizon Plays It Safe With LTE


We had same kind of argument of POTS versus Mobile phone.  And, guess what happened??  People argue against mobile phone with the same kind of argument.

1) Fundamentally, wired approach has a cost disadvantage in the last mile.

2) The pace of evolution on the wireless side had quickened.

3) The pace and volume of the Telecom CAPEX is being driven outside of USA.  USA had to follow what the world do.

4) India and China has the economy of scale.

It is coming.  Or, it is NOW.

Where and when it is the INFLACTION POINT??  X Mbps at $Y per month?? Unlimited as far as normal user are concerned??

In mobile phone, the INFLACTION POINT was the "bucket of minutes" introduced by AT&T Wireless.  Are we approaching this point in Broadband Internet Access??

Once the point is reached, the pace of change is exponential.


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