VZW LTE: What's Coming Down the Fat Pipe?

Verizon Wireless 's CTO Tony Melone was in pains yesterday to point out that the initial 38-city LTE rollout with modems is just the start of Verizon's "4G" ambitions. (See Verizon to Launch LTE on Dec. 5.)

"This is the launching pad for the future of mobile broadband and mobile communications for the next 10 years," Melone claimed on the call to unveil the Sunday launch for the new service. (See Verizon's LTE Debut: Keep It Simple, Stupid.)

So, here's a quick look at we can expect in the coming months:

Faster speeds for early adopters
Melone confirmed that the 5 to 12 Mbit/s average download speeds that Verizon loves to offer are what it is modeling for "a fully loaded network"; early adopters should get faster averages, simply because there are fewer users on the network. "They'll experience more than that out of the gate," Melone notes.

More cities
Detroit will likely be hard on the heels of the first 38 and Verizon expects to blanket its whole 3G footprint with LTE by the end of 2013.

More modems
Yawn! More modems will follow the first two "within weeks."

Consumer news at CES
Melone says that smartphones will be ready "by mid-year" but didn't rule out an earlier arrival. Tablets are also likely to be on the menu at CES.

A wait for voice over LTE
Melone doesn't expect to implement voice over LTE on the network until "late 2012, early 2013." This means "4G" devices will need 3G onboard as well for years to come.

What, no MiFi?
Verizon made no mention of any upcoming personal hotspot options on the call. We guess that's in the works though, as Big Red was advertising for someone to work on "a growth plan to capture emerging market opportunity for MBB solutions," including MiFi capabilities earlier this year.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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