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4G/3G/WiFi

Why LTE? It's All in the Apps, Says Verizon

NEW ORLEANS -- International CTIA Wireless -- Long Term Evolution (LTE) may be lacking one distinct killer application at the moment, but Verizon Wireless is planning to release a number of LTE-optimized apps that it hopes will lure consumers away from the 3G iPhone.

The first example is Color, the live broadcasting app Verizon is optimizing for a number of its LTE Android smartphones. The carrier says the app works on both 3G and 4G networks, but it performs with 20 times the video quality while only using four times the bandwidth on LTE. (See Verizon Adds Color to Video on LTE and CTIA: What's Hot in New Orleans.)

In an interview here at CTIA, Praveen Atreya, director of network technology and head of Verizon's LTE Innovation Center, said to expect a lot more partnerships like this, both for consumers and for the enterprise.

You can bet that a lot of these apps will be video-based as well. Atreya said that when people ask what is the fundamental thing that LTE enables, the answer is video. That can include enterprise uses like conferencing, surveillance or consumer video consumption and sharing. He expects to see more symmetric video apps, as well as more that are focused on sharing. (See Verizon Video Hits its LTE Network.)

In the recently wrapped-up first quarter, Verizon sold 3.2 million iPhones compared to 2.1 million LTE devices. But Atreya said that LTE is becoming more of a selling point for consumers, and the apps are helping to show the benefits of it aside from just the speed. (See Verizon Earns $3.9B as Data Usage Jumps .)

"It's really about the LTE experience," Atreya said. "Increasingly as you develop the ecosystem, services and apps that make full use of the untethered bandwidth available to you, it will be a significant factor to the overall experience. We're seeing people treat 4G LTE as a significant differentiator."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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