Thursday, March 15, 2012

Verizon's latest LTE statements point to LTE iPhone in 2012

Showing how important 4G LTE is to the nation's largest wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless said on Wednesday that it plans to cover 10 million more Americans with its 4G LTE service than previously expected by the end of this year. In addition, the company said that from this point on, all its smartphones would be LTE-capable.

Although Verizon didn't explicitly say so, those statements imply that the next-generation iPhone, which is expected by summer if Apple manages to pull its release back into the mid-year timeframe, will be a 4G LTE iPhone.

We'd expect any such 4G LTE iPhone to work on AT&T's network as well, and perhaps Sprint's too, since that carrier is switching from WiMax to LTE with its first LTE rollouts beginning at the beginning in mid-2012.
Verizon said that by March 15, more than 200 markets will have LTE, including No. 200, Dothan, Alabama. The company said it plans to more than double the number of its 4G LTE markets from the end of 2011 to the end of 2012, bringing the total number of LTE markets to more than 400. With the expansion, Verizon's 4G LTE network will cover more than 260 million people in the U.S. by the end of the year.

Most consumers think LTE when they think 4G, but in late 2010, the International Telecommunications Union approved the use of 4G for HSPA+ and WiMax. Prior to that decision, in fact, the ITU had said that first-generation LTE didn't even meet the standard for 4G.

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