Limited launch likely in late 2009
Last modified on Monday, 15 December 2008 08:39
Fourth generation high-speed cellular is the next evolution that will offer the kind of speeds that consumers are waiting for. The latest news from Verizon is that 4G LTE should launch from Verizon with limited availability in late 2009.
Verizon has been somewhat quiet about their the specifics of their plans beyond the fact that they are committing to a 4G LTE build out rather than using the WiMAX technology as rival CDMA carrier Sprint has committed to going with. With the recent news that Sprint is stepping up their WiMAX build out in conjunction with Clearwire many consumers have been waiting to see what Verizon will do with the part of the 700MHz spectrum that they recently won at auction.
It is thought that if Verizon is able to roll 4G LTE out in late 2009, it would only be in a few major markets. The decision for Verizon to go with 4G LTE over WiMAX is not surprising, given the fact that with the current problem with Sprint’s inability to retain customers, the viability of WiMAX is becoming a bit more uncertain.
Currently, Sandbridge Technology is sampling 4G LTE chipsets and our sources suggest that rival Qualcomm is getting very close to sampling its own 4G LTE chipset, as well. 4G LTE is gaining traction globally and many carriers outside the U.S. are already committed to using the 4G LTE standard going forward.
It will remain to be seen in which direction the majority of the carriers will go, but at least in the U.S. and Canada the majority of the carriers seem to be going with 4G LTE technology, which makes the purchase of WiMAX a bit more problematic at the moment.
With Verizon moving to roll out LTE, and AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. already committed to 4 LTE, as well, we predict that 4G LTE is likely the winner in the U.S. As for Canada, providers Rogers, Telus, and Bell Mobility are all committed to 4G LTE, as well, so roaming for WiMAX in Canada will be questionable unless someone else lights up a new WiMAX network in Canada.