Verizon is determined on LTE rollout, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone says that it is in his company's best interest to move to nationwide LTE as soon as possible and cut the pricing of mobile data services along the way, but that the operator is unlikely to stop CDMA-based voice services before 2018 at the earliest.
Melone took the stage at Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s annual capital markets day here in Boston this morning to talk about Verizon's view on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and how the wireless market will evolve as mobile broadband services become the norm. Ericsson is one of Verizon Wireless's two key infrastructure partners on the LTE deployment, along with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).
"It is in best interest to blanket the country with LTE as soon as possible," Melone said of the operator's aggressive LTE deployment plans. It will be the first U.S. operator to go commercial with LTE next year, if all goes to plan.
Melone said the operator will "soon" move to "phase four" trials of LTE over 700 MHz. The first commercial markets will follow in 2010 with a rapid deployment planned in 2011 and 2012.
He said Verizon wants to continue its history of being on the "leading edge" of wireless deployments. The company's growth and continued financial fitness show the wisdom of this strategy, he told the crowd.
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