Posts tagged ‘Verizon’

Interview: Principle Member, Technical Staff, Verizon: “Verizon is pushing hard for VoLTE deployments.”

Michael Freiberger, Principle Member, Technical Staff, Verizon

Michael Freiberger, Principle Member, Technical Staff, Verizon

Michael Freiberger, Principle Member, Technical Staff, Verizon is speaking on the subject of LTE’s backhaul design on Day One of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. 

How is data usage continuing to develop on your network, and how much of your data usage now goes over LTE?

Verizon’s 4G LTE network now covers 95 per cent of the U.S. population with speeds in the 10 to 12 megabit range. At last count, we have close to 50 LTE-enabled smartphones, tablets and Internet devices. Considering that voice calls currently reside in a separate band, the 10-12 megabit capacity capability of LTE is being used for data and video. Verizon is pushing hard for VoLTE deployments.

The LTE North America conference is taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Click here NOW to download a brochure for the event.

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LTE at CES 2013

CES-2013The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the glitzy tech-fest that takes place in Las Vegas ever January, is over for another year. Last year LTE featured heavily with many manufacturers choosing to announce their new-fangled LTE handsets there, ahead of the traditional mobile launchpad that is the Mobile World Congress in February.

However, as LTE is starting to become mainstream there was less activity on the LTE front, but there was still enough  related announcements to give us something to talk about.

T-Mobile announces LTE

T-Mobile USA is the one major network not to have launched an LTE network yet and its CTO Neville Ray made the revelation that the network would finally be launching its LTE network in a matter of weeks. It’s had 4G for some time of course, via the oh-so-clever ruse of telling everyone that its 42Mbps HSPA+ network was 4G. (It is in fact faster than LTE in spectrum constrained locations, but while HSPA+ is the end of the road for UMTS, LTE is just the start for the technology).

T-mobile-4G-LTE

Excitingly for T-Mobile customers the iPhone 5 could finally arriving on the network bringing the network up to date with pretty much everyone else.

Ray hinted that it wanted LTE to have been launched in Las Vegas in time of the show, but it didn’t quite make the schedule. Still, if it does launch, any day now, it’s still in advance of the initial plans that had T-Mobile launch in mid-2013 and the company how hopes to have a total of 100m covered by that time.

Verizon bigs up its LTE network

The world’s biggest LTE player Verizon also used CES to show off some impressive stats. It’s CEO Lowell McAdam revealed that its LTE network covers 89 per cent of its footprint just two years after it started and it will be finished its roll out mid-2013, well ahead of its rivals.

verizon-4g-lte

In car LTE

In car LTE is becoming a thing. At CES Audi unveiled its latest A3 with LTE build in, courtesy of a Gobi multi-mode 3G/LTE Qualcomm chip. “”We will soon be offering a fully integrated LTE link for our Audi connect services in the new Audi A3 in 2013,” said Ricky Hudi, chief Audi executive engineer.”

The integrated LTE will provide connectivity for up to eight devices in the car. That’s impressive considering that only five passengers can fit in the A3 at once. I guess that’s two each for the four passengers and none for the driver, which is probably best.

Infotainment-Driver-3-resized

RIM, owners of the drowning Blackberry brand, also unveiled an LTE related car to showcase its QNX platform, using a black 2012 Bentley Continental GT. Subtle.

Nvidia Tegra 4 chipset
Nvidia gained a lot of attention at CES for its ‘Shield’ concept, a portable games console powered by its Tegra 4 chipset, running Android yet with dedicated gaming controls – essentially a marriage of the PSP concept with an Android smartphone. Of interest to us though was the LTE support in the newly announced Tegra 4.

The Tegra 4 features an Icera soft-modem. The soft-modem has the advantage of being able to be software updated, which can’t be done with a fixed hardware solution, and this will utilised soon as while it support Category 3 LTE at launch, this is said to be updated to Category 4 in due course. However the downside is that it draws more power than fixed hardware, which for today’s currently battery constrained smartphones isn’t good news. As LTE hits the mainstream it will be interesting to see how many smartphone design wins Tegra 4 gets in 2013.

NV-softy

Verizon kicks off after PC World network test

When it comes to mobile broadband the first question that consumers tend to ask is, “which network is the fastest.” PC World magazine in the US, or at least its web site, has attempted to answer this question with a test of the four major US networks, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, across 13 cities. 4G was tested in locations that offered it, and 3G where it wasn’t.

Two things surprised me from this test. Firstly, that phones were used rather than dongles. Dongles would be a truer test of a network, as their design will be more optimised for data with greater surface area for the antenna and no interference from all the other bits that have to go into a phone.

The other was that Verizon didn’t win – AT&T did. Sure enough, it’s come out against the results, though the best it could muster in terms of an argument was, ‘everyone else normally says we’re better’.

The results show AT&T topping the 4G pile with an average of 8.35Mbps outdoors, while Verizon hit 7.61Mbps. This is less than the 8-12Mbps is says its users will get on average from LTE – so perhaps the use of phones rather than dongles has hurt it here.

Interestingly, PC World seems to have considered 4G the same way that AT-T , including HSPA+ as a fall back from LTE that’s sitll ‘4G’. This has possibly helped it win based as its 3G speeds  HSPA+ speeds are higher than Verizon’s CDMA2000 3G speeds, pushing up its average.

The results also show that Sprint really is in desperate need of an LTE upgrade. WiMAX simply hasn’t kept up with later 3G technologies such as HSPA+ making something of a mockery of it being the first to adopt the ‘4G’ moniker’.

If you’re in the US, do the results smack true for you? Let us know in the comments.

The LTE World Summit is taking place on the 23-24 May 2012 CCIB, Barcelona, Spain. Click here to register your http://ws.lteconference.com/interest.

Selling LTE: Is Verizon getting it wrong?

In the UK we tend to think of LTE as something of a specialist subject due to the fact that the average ‘normal’ person on the street hasn’t heard of it. That’s fair enough, as it’s not coming to these isles until 2014 at the earliest, and probably 20014 if the operators are allowed to drag their heels. But that’s another story. In the US however, it’s mainstream enough for Saturday Night Live to run a skit, making fun of Verizon’s advertising of the service.

The customer walks in and is clearly savvy enough to ask the sales rep to tell him more about ‘4G LTE’, and is then promptly bamboozled by a stream of confusing network specifications.

Best lines? “1 song, 4 seconds.” Puzzled look. “The song is four seconds?”

After being flung a list of buzzy Android phone names he asks, “What happens if I drop it down the toilet?” Response. “It breaks immediately”.

Tagline? “Verizon – an old person’s nightmare”


(Apologies for poor screen cam quality, but original not available on YOuTube due to draconian location limitations – (i.e. you’re outside of the US? But there’s nothing outside of the US!).

The point is clear. Verizon might be well known as the LTE leader in the US, but is doing a poor job at communicating the benefits of the technology and the gadgets that come with it. Lesson to other operators – do it better.

It might be terribly predictable to say, but there is one company that will do a probably better job of explaining why LTE is great, while offering a simpler, clear strategy to deliver it to customers via a single device. And they’ll probably do it this summer. Answer on a post card below. No prizes.

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