Verizon Prods Apple on LTE
Talking at a Goldman Sachs & Co. conference on Thursday morning, Seidenberg said he felt that momentum to bring LTE devices to market faster was growing. Verizon is rumored to be launching commercial services on LTE in 30 markets in the US this December. (See Verizon Readies '4G' for December.)
"I’m hoping that the success we’ve had with Droid will encourage Apple, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Samsung Corp. , even Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to make devices for 4G," Seidenberg told the investor audience. The CEO said he expects Verizon to have 4G device capability in the first quarter of 2011.
"We’ve already said we’ll have a tablet," he noted. Indeed, Seidenberg declared that he believes that the tablet market will "explode" on LTE.
Seidenberg didn't add any color on the exact launch date for LTE service but did reveal that Verizon is now tuning and testing the network: "We've actually had the 4G network in the 30 or so markets up and running since June."
Seidenberg also revealed that LTE will go live in "50 airports" as LTE rolls out. "Some of those won't be in the same markets as the 30 markets."
Meanwhile, while Seidenberg noted that Verizon will introduce tiered prices and bundles for LTE, he doesn't think that Verizon will slavishly follow other operators' capping concepts. "The data experience we’re going to offer is going to be better, so the tiers and bundles might be different," Seidenberg said. (See Vodafone CEO Talks Up Data Caps .) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile