Verizon Reveals Its LTE Peaks

Verizon Wireless says that tests in Boston and Seattle show that it should be able to get multi-megabit per second peaks out of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, but the operator is still promising average downloads of up to 12 Mbit/s using the new technology.

Verizon says that trials have shown that its test sites are capable of peak downloads of 40 Mbit/s to 50 Mbit/s, and peak upload speeds of 20 Mbit/s to 25 Mbit/s. The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier reiterated LTE average data rates of 5 Mbit/s to 12 Mbit/s on the downlink and 2 Mbit/s to 5 Mbit/s on the uplink in "real-world environments." (See The Confusing World of LTE Speeds.)

Mobile users are likely to hit peak speeds on any wireless network when they are located close to a cell site and on a network without too many other users on it. The farther a user gets from a base station and the more people on a network, the worse the wireless performance will get. Performance is also affected by whether the user is stationary or on the move. (See WiMax & LTE Meet the Real World.)

Verizon has been testing LTE in Boston and Seattle since August 2009. Test data calls have involved streaming video, file uploads and downloads, and Web browsing, as well as VoIP calls over the LTE network.

Verizon claims that its LTE network will offer speeds "significantly faster" than "current or promised 3G network speeds." AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile US Inc. have recently deployed High-Speed Packet Access 7.2 upgrades on their networks, which offer maximum downlink of 7.2 Mbit/s. This translates to around 3 Mbit/s to 4 Mbit/s data throughput on the downlink while stationary, with bursts as high as 5.5 Mbit/s, although mobile downlink is much less. (See Vodafone's Blazin' 3G Upgrade.)

Verizon says that it plans to have LTE available in 25 to 30 markets in the US by the end of the year.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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