Verizon Working on LTE-Advanced Standards

LAS VEGAS -- VDC Conference 2011 -- Verizon Wireless is working on standards for LTE-Advanced, according to its network technology director.

But that's all the carrier has going on with regard to the true 4G LTE network. Praveen Atreya, director of network technology and Verizon's LTE Innovation Center, says it is too early to test LTE-Advanced or even research potential speeds and features of it. That being said, Verizon is definitely going that route in the long term, he says.

Lack of planning around LTE-Advanced is common amongst wireless operators. Infonetics Research Inc. finds that close to two-thirds don't know when they will trial the network. Only 5 percent are already testing it, but another 16 percent plan to trial it in 2013. At this time, expected LTE-Advanced maximum download speeds are 100 Mbit/s in motion and 1 Gbit/s stationary. (See Hold On for LTE-Advanced and Ericsson Demos LTE Advanced .)

In the meantime, Verizon has its hands full rolling out its current LTE network across the U.S. The carrier covers 117 markets and 160 million people with 4G and will Thursday turn on 26 more markets, bringing its total to 143 covered. (See Verizon Wireless Covers 160M+ With LTE.)

At the same time, Verizon is working internally on voice over LTE with its vendor partners, according to Larry Rau, director of technology applications ecosystem for Verizon. The carrier will also continue testing the voice standard in two of its pre-commercial markets through 2012, Atreya adds. (See VoLTE Maintains Momentum and MWC 2011: Verizon Plans VoLTE for 2012.)

"We're keen on ensuring the experience is better," Atreya says. Verizon wants to preserve the voice experience for consumers, so that when they're switched over to VoLTE, the only thing they notice is that their calls are higher quality. On top of that, the carrier will also introduce RCS features like video calling and presence. First it's about ensuring a superior experience, Atreya says, then adding richness.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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