At Verizon Wireless, it’s not just about the iPhone
Verizon Wireless has dominated the news since last week, thanks to its LTE-related announcements and yesterday’s proclamation that it now will carry the iconic Apple iPhone that has been exclusively offered by AT&T Mobility since 2007.
As promised, Verizon introduced new LTE devices during the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas. The devices include four smart phones, tablets, hotspots and notebooks. Moreover, the operator announced an aggressive rollout schedule for its LTE network in 2011 with plans to bring the technology to another 140 markets.
During a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon said that all of the new devices will become commercially available by mid-year, with some, most likely notebooks, available as soon as March.
Smartphones will be coming from HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola Mobility. Verizon also announced it would offer the Xoom tablet from Motorola and said that Samsung’s GalaxyTab will be LTE-enabled. In addition, the carrier announced hotspots from Samsung and Novatel and notebooks from Hewlett-Packard and Compaq. Meanwhile, Verizon and Cisco jointly announced that the Cisco Cius enterprise tablet will be LTE enabled. Pricing information for all of these devices is not yet available.
Verizon Communications CTO Tony Melone praised the network’s performance since the operator rolled out LTE last month, saying the operator has kept its promises in terms of speed, latency and technology performance at the edge of the cell. Average download speeds continue to be 5 to 12 Mbps, he said. Verizon currently offers LTE service in 38 markets, covering 100 POPs, offering two LTE modems.
“In 36 months, we’ll have the nation covered with LTE,” Melone said. “We’ll have 200 million POPs in 140 markets added in 2011.”
When Verizon rolls out the iPhone on Feb. 10, it will run on the operator’s CDMA EV-DO network, because today’s LTE chips would have forced Apple to make some design compromises. Moreover, both Apple and Verizon believe that demand exists today for a CDMA-based version.
On Feb. 3, existing Verizon subscribers will be able to pre-order the device while other subscribers can order it on Feb. 10. iPhone 4 pricing with Verizon will be the same as that offered by AT&T. Verizon will sell the 16 GB iPhone 4 for $200 with a two-year contract and the 32 GB version for $300. Verizon’s iPhone will include the same features as the HSPA phone, except that it will feature Verizon’s mobile hotspot service, which enables users to connect Wi-Fi-enabled devices.