The US’s largest telco and wireless carrier is reportedly joining the next gen wireless arena tomorrow. Using superior spectrum vacated by the digital TV transition, Dark V should have a major advantage over competitors in terms of distance between towers and service reliability. While it remains to be seen how it will stack up against the rest of the field, the bar already set by competitors isn’t very high.
Verizon Wireless has confirmed that it will hold a press conference on December 1 to detail the launch of its next generation 4G service. It’s unclear if Verizon will actually light its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network tomorrow (Yahoo)
Remember the coveted 700 MHz band that was auctioned by the FCC with the requirement that the network be open, and work on devices other than those sold exclusive by the winner of the auction? It also required competitors access to the network at a fair price. It appears that Verizon has forgotten. It’s representatives have been talking up the network and devices, but no mention of anything from outsiders. Who is willing to bet the FCC will also forget?
“Our goal is that in about 18 months from today we’ll have 200 million pops [points of presence] covered,” McAdams said on Wednesday. That would serve about two thirds of the United States population. “And by the end of 2013, we’ll have virtually the same coverage that we have on 3G today.”
The plan is for the network to support 5-12Mbps on the download, and 2-5Mbps on the upload, Verizon CTO Anthony Malone told the audience. These new phones will move data via the carriers’ new 4G LTE wireless system. Voice will still transmit over 3G.
But for pricing, it looks like consumers should expect some changes over the next few years.
“We think there’s a place for unlimited plans,” McAdam noted, “but we think that over time, because we have finite resources, our customers are going to have to shift to a pay-as-you-use” mode. “I would say that clearly over time we will be migrating to a bucket-of-megabytes” approach. (Ars Technica)+
There was no mention of third party devices or open access for competitive service. At the risk of sounding like a looped recording, let me remind you that the telcos never keep their promises. They make promises to get a concession, and then get concessions to avoid fulfilling them.
Here’s how I think this one will play out: Verizon will ask the FCC to declare a competitive market in 4g access because Clear holds enough license and also plans to build coast to coast coverage. If you think this sounds crazy, it’s the same argument the telcos made about telco / cable broadband duopoly constituting a competitive market. The FCC agreed and the telcos were able to ditch their prior promises including providing competitive access to last mile lines and to cover 2/3 of the country with fiber to curb by the year 2000.
The buffoons in Washington have made such a mess of the economy that no one is likely to force the issue before Verizon undoes all of the promised open wireless rules. Unfortunately, the continuing stagnation in broadband access is also stifling economic growth. If we can learn anything thing from this, it is that big government acting in concert with big telecom and cable never acts in the public’s interest. Going forward, we need a strong law that will end any exclusive licensing of spectrum. Spectrum is public property, and should be open exclusively for public use. Technology can enable commercial use of open bands without exclusive licenses. Open bands will insure a competitive market.
Exclusive deals that lock cool handsets to a single carrier will soon get scrutiny from federal regulators, the acting head of the FCC announced Thursday.
The announcement (.pdf) comes just a day after a Senate subcommittee heard competing arguments over whether deals like Sprint’s six-month lock on the Palm Pre and AT&T’s long-running U.S. monopoly on the iPhone stifle competition and hurt consumers. Earlier this week, three Senate Democrats Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), John Kerry (Mass.), Byron Dorgan (North Dakota), along with Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) sent a letter to Copps urging the agency to take a close look at the deals’ competitive impact.
Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairman Michael Copps said today (.pdf) that the FCC will open a formal proceeding to “determine whether some of these arrangements adversely restrict consumer choice or harm the development of innovative devices ….”
In a Senate hearing yesterday, Penn State professor Robert M. Frieden said 9 of the 10 top selling phones were under exclusive deals with one or more of the nation’s big four carriers, save for the most popular phone the Blackberry Curve.
The wheels of government really do grind ever so slowly. Here at Thirdpipe we have been railing against this cozy relationship for years. It is anticompetitive at the minimum.It hides the true value of the phone, etc. That the FCC is actually looking at the situation I guess is a good thing. But then again they have turned an opportunity into a bad dream in the past too.
Verizon, who has been working overtime to FUD WiMAX via the new Clearwire out of existence, seems to be a believer in the technology after all. No, they are not adopting the technology for their own 4G use, but they have stated that their LTE service will appear magically out of thin air next year. If you’re Verizon, the best reason to claim you’ll have alledgedly better product to market quickly is to slow the take rate of your competitors offering. Naturally we will be here to document that miracle as it unfolds before our eyes, so stay tuned.
“We expect that LTE will actually be in service somewhere here in the U.S. probably this time next year,” said Dick Lynch, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon Communications, in a speech at Cisco Systems‘ C-Scape conference in San Jose, California. That would represent a more aggressive timetable than many observers have expected for the high-speed data system, which has been pegged for initial deployments in 2010 and wide rollouts starting in 2011.
LTE is a fourth-generation wireless data system expected to be the next step up in speed and capacity for carriers using the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) platform, which is dominant in most of the world. Like WiMax, it should deliver multiple megabits per second of throughput. (Yahoo)
It’s amazing how much of the tech press and big tech blogs have run this story as the certain death of WiMAX. It’s true that Spint/Clearwire has had a bunch of trouble getting their network off of the ground, but they have and it’s working. There is still a big bunch of deploying ahead to build a national network. The rub with reporting Verizon’s LTE as a sure fire Clear wire killer is that Verizon has just as many obstacles ahead as Clearwire, and maybe a few more. The biggest unresolved issue is backhaul. It’s the main factor in slowing Clearwire’s progress, and Verizon has no bigger existing pipes to their towers. In fact the big V has struggled for years just to get much lower speed 3G service working. Then there is the underlying technology. WiMAX has had plenty of hiccups along the way to becoming a reality, but it is now in the wild and working as advertised. LTE is still in its infancy without a single working installation, and it’s silly to assume it will work perfectly in its first few generations. Then there’s the capital involved in getting a network built. Verizon is not likely to be able to raise as much money in the debt market as they have been able to in the past – no one is right now.
I’m not a WiMAX cheerleader per se. I hope both Wimax and LTE are up an running ASAP, and competing vigorously. What makes Clearwire’s WiMAX appealing today is its time to market, and it’s direct competitive stance against both mobile and fixed broadband. I’ll offer a crazed cheer to any company that will offer a potential third pipe, even one that’s only 2-4 MBPS. So if Verizon or LTE wants me to cheer, the can buy a big ad on Thirdpipe (like they do on the blogs that spread their FUD), or show me the bandwidth and actually deliver a working product before they ask me to declare a competitor “dead”.
If you are one of our nations best and brightest, you could study engineering and contribute value to our society in your creations. You could also become an attorney and defend the property of the engineer from those who willfully steal the innovations. Either of these could reward years of hard work with great wealth and recognition. A third course is to invent nothing, defend nothing tangible and take advantage of an outdated patent system by running an intellectual property protection racket. Unfortunately the third course has proven to be a quick path to easy money, creating a growth industry that is nothing more than a hungry parasite.
While the new wave of LTE lawsuits couldn’t have happened to a more deserving group of companies, the lawsuits are probably no more valid than the suits that have harassed WiFi and WiMAX. Congress should reform the patent act and discourage baseless litigation. Unfortunately, the political party of the trial lawyer is poised to take control of our government for at least the next two years. Seems we’ll be seeing more of this instead of less.
Name the standard, and we can probably find someone claiming patents on it. There are still ongoing patent battles surrounding both WiFi and WiMax. The latest is apparently surrounding LTE, the choice of many mobile providers for their 4G next generation wireless. A company named ADC is claiming that LTE violates its patents and is now asking for royalties. (Techdirt)
With the gag off, Darth V has chimed in on plans for the newly licensed C block. It comes as no surprise that the technology of choice will be LTE.
The new spectrum will not be clear for use until mid-February 2009, when the companies using it for analog television broadcasts are required to stop and switch to digital broadcasting.
The company plans to launch a new wireless network in 2010 in the 700-MHz spectrum, which is considered especially valuable because it can transmit through walls and help meet the growing demand for faster wireless downloads.
“We now have sufficient spectrum to continue growing our business and data revenues well into — and possibly through — the next decade,” Lowell McAdam, the company’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. (Yahoo)
I’m predicting service will be rolled out slowly, underpowered, overpriced and open in name only. Please Darth, prove me wrong!