Verizon customers will soon be able to enjoy 4G LTE all around the world. In a press conference at the Telecommunications Industry Association last week, Tony Malone, Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer, announced that Verizon Wireless plans to offer global roaming for all its 4G LTE smartphones, tablets and network cards.
“There will absolutely be roaming for 4G LTE devices,” Malone said. “And where 4G LTE isn’t available or it’s not economical to support those LTE frequencies, we’ll allow customers to fall back on 3G HSPA networks.”
July 21st will bring 4G LTE to many more cities that include:
- Portland, OR
- Toledo, OH
- Winston-Salem and Raleigh-Durham, NC
- Maui, HI
- Wichita, KS
- And Cellular Sales’ hometown, Knoxville, TN.
Coverage will also be expanding in these existing markets: Seattle, Louisville, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas.
Read on here.
Fresno and Sacramento, Calif.
Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Ind.
Flint, Grand Rapids and Lansing, Mich.
Erie, Harrisburg and State College, Pa.
Sioux Falls, S.D.
Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah
and Madison and Milwaukee, Wis.
Verizon Wireless is also expanding its 4G LTE network in San Francisco and Detroit
A Peak at the Future of 4G
4G LTE means much more than faster speeds and improved performance. 4G changes what is possible for wireless communication. The standardized communication protocols, dramatically increasing speeds and flux of 4G devices will change how consumers, business and even governments interact.
- 4G is forecast to deliver 100Mbps download times and 50Mbps upload times from anywhere in the world at anytime, this means super broadband speeds will be available to everyone.
- Cell towers will have a much wider range, which means 4G wireless access will eventually be available everywhere.
- 4G protocols require standardized communication networks, so devices will no longer search for compatible support, but seamlessly move interact in any environment.
- The design of 4G radio communication allows more devices to interact on a common network, which benefits both users and the addition of multiple devices.
- Reduced latency to 10 msec round-trip time between user devices and base station will mean that continuing online interaction will be invisible and function like desktop applications.
As 4G continues to roll out, increasingly of these features will be realized. This will lead to interactivity that few customers realized was possible. 4G will ultimately create an ecosystem of devices within the users’ world and throughout the globe. Applications can be developed that rely on multiple devices interacting with or without user engagement.
Imagine the possibilities. A customer has car trouble on a busy Interstate. The car will warn them to pull over and automatically contact local support to aid the customer while ensuring his safety in the midst of a high traffic area. At the same time, the customer car could communicate with other cars on the Interstate, increasing safety and helping manage traffic flow.
In fact, 4G could help traffic flow in everything from local traffic as red lights could communicate within 4G network as well as traffic rerouting in case of construction or accidents.
4G facilitates and supports global business transactions, planning and management. Last year, Gartner Research suggested that CIOs should already begin preparing for this coming mobile computing world where pattern-based technologies will thrive and context-aware computing will become the norm.
This is just the beginning of some of the ways 4G will change communications in the coming years. From personalized computing to improved healthcare to changing workplaces to greater learning and entertainment possibilities, 4G will ultimately have an impact on every aspect of life.
How does the 4G LTE Translate into Customer Experience?
Even as Verizon Wireless unrolls the 4G LTE network, they are introducing products and plans that deliver the speed, functionality, and support for the specific application of home and business customers. First a quick summary of the basic features of 4G LTE.
- Verizon advertises download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps downloads and 2 to 5 Mbps uploads. But as multiple reports have demonstrated, these speeds are conservative estimates compared to the experience of many 4G users.
- Network latency is below 50 ms and this means that the data response time when interacting online is comparable to wireline connections.
- The rapidly expanding 4G LTE network delivers a reliable consistent wireless environment for customers.
- The 4G LTE network is designed to deliver service compatibility across disparate networks, including global wireline, wireless, fiber and private networks.
- As customers move between 4G and 3G networks, they will experience a consistent, reliable experience.
- Verizon Wireless is the only carrier with contiguous 700 MHz 4G spectrum.
For wireless customers faster downloads and reduced latency means that you can enjoy media without the hassle of waiting, waiting and waiting during the dreaded “buffering.” From watching movies to downloading that cool tune just heard in the grocery store, customers enjoy entertainment in seconds not minutes. Take a picture and want to post online? How about photo uploads in 6 seconds? 4G LTE means that wireless customers can interact with online media in mere moments.
Business customers enjoy the speed and power of their office on the road, all across America. Conduct HD corporate training, teleconference, and video collaboration with colleagues all across the nation and even the world. Managers can stream database applications, manage cloud applications, and control all their digital devices from anywhere in the country.
Verizon is also using 4G LTE as a part of larger enterprise level solutions and industry-specific challenges. Some of the wide-ranging applications include improved healthcare delivery systems with comprehensive security management solutions to guard sensitive information. Verizon supports a true borderless network that connect multiple offices, mobile users and global partners in a fast and secure network.
- Doug Flyod
Comparing 4G Networks
Several companies advertise 4G networks or 4G speeds including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. If you compare the technology, the network performance and the coverage areas, Verizon Wireless dominates the field and will dominate for years to come. Why? For two main reason: they were an early adopter to the technology that is become the standard of transition into 4G: LTE (Long Term Evolution). Secondly, they have been aggressively preparing for this switch for several years, so they are ahead of their competition on the basis of network area launch time and network performance.
AT&T and T-Mobile focused primarily on improving network speeds by investing heavily in HSPA+ technology. But now AT&T is quickly trying to catch up by investing in LTE. HSPA+ is simply not a long term solution since it relies on old standards. As a stopgap measure between 3G and 4G, HSPA+ provides faster download and upload speeds in areas of availability.
So the main advantage of HSPA+ is faster speeds in the interim while these networks catch up with the newest technologies. Unfortunately, PC World has reported that some users of the new HSPA+ technology are reporting slower speeds than 3G. Slashgear’s Shane McGlaun expressed disappointment that AT&T was promoting HSPA+ as 4G and said that the speeds weren’t terribly impressing. In spite of repeated claims for 6Mbps downloading speeds, PC World reports that most users appear to be averaging speeds closer to 2.5Mbps.
Even in places and on products where HSPA+ is delivering higher speeds, this technology is still not true 4G and will be superseded by LTE. In fact, the AT&T Mobility CEO admitted that AT&T is at least two years behind Verizon Wireless at the recent “All Things Done” conference. This explains part of the drive for AT&T to merge with T Mobile, but even with a merger, both networks will still be behind on LTE coverage.
Sprint was the first company to advertise 4G speeds with their WiMax technology. While Sprint’s WiMax is a 4G technology, it’s performance speeds are still well below LTE. As a result, Sprint is now focusing on developing LTE coverage as well.
For those wanting true 4G LTE coverage, Verizon Wireless is the only real option and will be for several years to come. How did Verizon corner the market?
With the impending end of all analog signal transmission in the United States (June 2009), the FCC offered operation rights for the 700 MHz frequency formally used primarily by UHF channels. The United States 2008 Spectrum Auction (known officially as Auction 73) starting auctioning rights in January 2008.
Verizon Wireless was the big winner. As it turns, Verizon had big plans for the 700 MHz rights. They were looking ahead to the implementation of 4G and LTE technology across the United States. They started an aggressive rollout schedule for the 4G LTE Network.
On December 5, 2010, Verizon Wireless launched its 4G LTE network in 39 major metropolitan cities, covering more than 110 million Americans. By the end of 2011, Verizon plans to offer their 4G LTE network in more than 175 markets. Every month, more and more Americans are enjoying the blazing speed of this true 4G LTE network by Verizon.
PC Mag, PC World, ZDNet and a critics all across the mobile communications industry agree that the new 4G LTE network from Verizon is the fastest network available.  On the day Verizon launched the 4G LTE Network in December 2, 2010, Gizmodo tracked test results from across the nation. Speeds included:
MSNBC – 32Mbps download and 11.99Mbps upload
Engadget – 7.14Mbps download and 1.12Mbps upload
Slashgear – 12.44Mbps download and 6.73Mbps upload
GigaOm – 11.7Mbps download and 5.6Mbps upload
Network World – 7.5Mbps download and 6.5Mbps upload
Gizmodo – 9.5Mbps download and 2.9Mbps upload
From the technology to network coverage to performance to available 4G products, Verizon Wireless gives customers the ability to enjoy the full advantages of 4G now and in the years to come.
- Doug Flyod
There are multiple companies promoting 4G networks, but actually they are using different technologies including HSPA+, WiMax, and LTE.
Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+)
HSPA+ is a temporary measure that addressed the increasing need for download speeds comparable with fixed broadband lines. This is primarily an upgrade to existing 3G technologies designed to meet the needs of users until full 4G implementation. While the ITU has allowed HSPA+ to come within the 4G definition, HSPA+ is only a temporary measure. It has no long-term viability and is a stop gap measure. Even though HSPA+ may demonstrate fast download speeds, it is still based on an old technology that will not move forward into the emerging 4G networks.
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) is like a super wireless network. It delivers a performance similar to local WiFi networks. While WiFi networks deliver broadband access in a 100-300 foot range, WiMax can deliver service in a 30 mile range. Thus, it can offer broadband speeds to mobile telecommunication networks. Download speeds usually run much lower than local WiFi, averaging around 3Mbps to 6Mbps.
While some companies like spring focused their original efforts around WiMax, they are now moving toward adopting LTE technologies.
Long term evolution (LTE) competes directly with WiMax as a ITU-recognized 4G technology. As the name implies, LTE is part of a long-term evolution from 3G technology to 4G technology. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) provided the original standard for a 3G mobile system in 1998. In 2004, the partnership of organizations began developing the LTE project focused on radio access technology.
Unlike Wimax, LTE is a completely different technology that operates with frequency band allocations. Using top-of-the-line radio techniques, LTE achieves extremely high performance levels. LTE can coexist with 3G and 2G while also moving forward toward full implementation of LTE-Advanced over the next few years.
LTE appears to be poised as the single standard and natural evolution for the emerging 4G networks. FCC mandated LTE for all emergency responders. Over 100 manufacturers currently support the LTE technology and that number continues rising as more and more mobile communication providers and consumers are turning to LTE.
Some of the many benefits of LTE include the following:
- Fast download and upload speeds such as 5 to 12Mbps (download) and 2 to 5Mbps (upload) with even faster speeds coming.
- LTE shifted from circuit-switched to packet-switched technologies, simplifying the overall network.
- Improved performance for streaming data and video to a mobile device.
- Low latency equals faster response times when interacting with applications online.
- Low frequency transmissions can reach longer distances and are less susceptible to interference, so this should improve reception and clarity of voice communications.
- LTE can support more users in a single area.
- LTE delivers a more consistent user experience as users travel between disparate networks.
Verizon Wireless anticipated the potential of LTE as the step forward in telecommunications and was an early adopter of this technology. Now Verizon Wireless is poised to benefit from the current adoption of LTE standards since their speeds, performance and LTE rollout dominate the field.
What is 4G? & A quick history of 4G.
What is 4G?
Just about the time everyone got use to talking about their 3G phones, 4G stepped onto the center stage of mobile communications. It might be easy to assume that 4G is just the newest version in a long line of mobile updates much like typical software updates such as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and so on. Since 3G came offering faster speeds and clearer communication lines, it is once again assumed that 4G is now bringing even faster speeds and even better communication lines.
Actually, 4G is a game changer for mobile communications around the world. While it does mean faster, better wireless communications, it means much more. The key benefits of 4G for customers include:
• Speed – Faster data speeds for downloads and uploads
• Low Latency – Customer will spend less time waiting for information to process and respond on their devices
• Accessibility – Ultimately 4G will mean broadband access anytime, anywhere in the world with any technology
• Customization – Customers will enjoy greater personalization in the products they use
• Integration – 4G connects devices to devices, so now customers will enjoy easy integration of multiple technologies
But 4G is even bigger than these benefits. It has a long reaching impact on the way we communicate and the way our world interacts. To a get sense of the magnitude, here’s a quick history of 4G.
A Quick History of 4G
Alex Lightman, the man who is credited with coining the term 4G has suggested that “4G is the next and last generation of wireless communication.”1 In 2002, Lightman published, Brave New Unwired World: The Digital Big Bang and the Infinite Internet, where he anticipated the future of wireless communication, and how it would impact everything else in the world. In October 2010, Lightman accepted a Reader’s Choice Award from The Economist on behalf 4G as the invention that would most impact the world in the next decade.2
4G is not simply a better, faster 3G. 4G is standard that will connect telecommunication devices around the world, ushering in new technological possibilities that are still being realized. It is the wireless communications standard that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) established in 2002. They designated the new standard as IMT-Advanced and set specific goals for a global telecommunication platform that would connect developed and undeveloped nations and connect divergent technologies by focusing on four essential dimensions: spectrum, marketplace, regulatory, and technology.
• Spectrum refers to the frequency in radio and telecommunications where information travels in a wave along an assigned frequency range. This is the basis for all wireless communication.
• Marketplace represents the needs of the users and the demand for services within each market.
• Regulatory assures authorized controls within the spectrum, ensuring resources are properly shared among licenses.
• Technology utilizes the spectrum to deliver specific capabilities that meet the needs of markets and the regulations of markets.
IMT-Advanced (and later termed 4G) represents the combined work of over 200 standards organizations around the world, assuring that telecommunications can drive social and economic development through a borderless wireless broadband networks in every nation.
For the past decade, professionals from every nation have been developing the technologies that work with established the standards and protocols to introduce a form of wireless communications that is not limited to specific places, works between multiple services, and provides sufficient support for the levels of customer access that dramatically rise every year.
Implementing 4G technologies is a multiphase process. In 2010 and 2011, initial stages of the 4G broadband standards have been introduced. Over the next several years, 4G technologies and products will continue to develop and expand, offering more and more benefits to consumers, businesses, healthcare and societies all around the world.
AT&T claims 4G but then announces 4G LTE roll out this summer.
AT&T’s CEO, Ralph de la Vega, admits that their network will be inferior for years to come. At the D9 Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California Vega said that it will be two to three years until their LTE coverage is “indistinguishable” from Verizon’s. Ok, if they aren’t even starting to rollout 4G LTE until this summer, what have they been talking about in their commercials?
It turns out that, along with T-Mobile, AT&T has just been rebranding their network 4G. That is, they have just been renaming their networks 4G with out actually having 4G service. For now AT&T is trying to pass their subpar HSPA+ off as 4G until they can move over to LTE this summer. Nice try…
J.D. Power and Associates rank Verizon Wireless highest in satisfaction for small to medium sized business customers. The ranking comes from their 2011 U.S. Business Wireless Satisfaction Study. The categories ranked included performance, reliability, sales representatives/account executives, billings, offerings, and promotions. Verizon’s cutting edge 4G network and the nation’s most reliable 3G network played a part in J.D. Power and Associates’ results. Not to mention the amazing lineup of smartphones, to include Android and Blackberry, tablets, Hotspots and USB modems.
Read more here.
Calls to 150 different Verizon Wireless stores covering 22 major US cities has revealed that the HTC Thunderbolt may be outselling the iPhone. Walter Piecyk of BGIT Research conducted the study. It revealed that 61% of stores said that they were selling at the same rate, 11% divulged that the iPhone was selling better, and 28% said that the Thunderbolt was beating out the iPhone. Could it be that the Thunderbolt and its 4G LTE technology is giving it a leg up? Brian Snyder, Regional Director of Cellular Sales’ South Georgia market, commented, “Both of these devices are very exciting and ground breaking in that the iPhone is an iconic device and the Thunderbolt is 4G.” Read the whole store here.
LTE is rolling out to millions more Americans in 2011. Handsets (not just wireless Internet devices) will be starting to roll out very soon, and the population of our great nation will be bug-eyed at what their phones will be able to do.
For all you geeks who look ahead at new equipment before it comes out, here’s a review packed with specs for an upcoming LTE device from manufacturer LG:
The LG Revolution can only be described as the Verizon 4G LTE outsider. Does it have what it takes to become a success?
If you want to learn more about 4G and the blazing-fast LTE service from Verizon, visit or call a Cellular Sales location today!
One of the most exciting announcements made last week during CES was Verizon’s unveiling of the list of cities getting 4G LTE service sometime during 2011. It’s a very long list, and one that’s bound to get you excited if you are considering catapulting yourself into the future of wireless connectivity.
Check out the full list here (near the bottom).
-Jay Witherspoon, Director of Advertising, Cellular Sales