Report: Verizon Plans LTE Phone by Mid-2011

Verizon Wireless is reportedly hoping to have a phone that supports both CDMA 3G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband data connections by the middle of 2011.

Verizon plans to launch 25 to 30 markets using LTE pre-4G technology in the U.S. by the end of the year. Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone tells The Wall Street Journal that the carrier could have LTE phones available three to six months after the launch of the network.

Unsurprisingly, initial phones will support CDMA calling and 3G data, as well as LTE broadband connections. This is because the details of deploying a voice service over LTE are still being hashed out, and CDMA can provide a fallback in areas where Verizon hasn't yet deployed the new technology. (See Operators Rally Round IMS for LTE Voice.) Verizon is hoping to have between 50 and 60 markets covered with LTE by late 2011 or early 2012. The carrier hasn't revealed any market details yet, except to say that its Boston and Seattle test sites will become the first commercial locations. (See LTE Watch: Verizon Promises Big Footprint.)

Before the handset, Verizon expects to launch dongles and LTE cards. The carrier has said that it expects users to see average download speeds of between 5 and 12 Mbit/s on the new network.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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