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Verizon CTO Says 4G Service Is On Track 74

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the too-many-g's dept.
Verizon has announced that it is on track to roll out their new 4G LTE service using the 700 MHz band that it acquired in the recent FCC auction. Targeted first towards USB air cards for laptop customers, the service will be extended to cell phones and other mobile devices with embedded LTE eventually. Testing in Boston and Seattle should conclude in the next couple of months and commercial deployments should follow soon thereafter. "Lynch said getting voice to work over LTE has been particularly challenging. But that challenge is getting resolved as Verizon and other members of the GSMA announced Monday they are supporting a standard that uses IMS technology to deliver voice services over LTE. Still, more work needs to be done. Until a solution is complete, Verizon will use its CDMA network to provide voice services. And the LTE network will be used for data. Eventually, when voice over LTE becomes a reality, Verizon will use that technology. Verizon will also have to integrate EV-DO into its LTE offering to ensure that customers can switch to the 3G EV-DO network when the 4G LTE network is not available. Even though Verizon is being aggressive in building its network, it won't happen overnight."
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Verizon CTO Says 4G Service Is On Track

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  • Impressive.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:41PM (#31149772) Journal
    So, everything is hunky-dory, going right according to plan.

    But the phone company doesn't actually have any way of making the new technology make voice calls, so they'll be retaining the legacy CDMA technology. And, of course, they'll be building the intermediate legacy EV-DO technology for the forseeable future to deal with places where the new hotness is not actually available. Oh, and support for mobile devices is planned for "eventually"...

    I wish my standards for success were this achievable.
    • Re:Impressive.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @08:03PM (#31150566)

      I'm guessing you don't understand how long it takes to roll out new generation to one city, let alone an entire country, let alone a country with the size and landscape of the United States.

      Nevermind the fact that once the cabinets and antennas are in place, that all of the cell phone makers have to create phones with new radios that can talk on this fancy new generation.

      I'd be _extremely_ happy to have an upgraded Verizon BlackBerry that has a separate radio JUST for extremely fast data. Do you really think an LTE call is going to sound any different than a EV-DO call? Why on earth would anybody care about voice calls when LTE users should have the speed and bandwidth to handle real VoIP calls? Who will care about voice plans then?

      The real truth is that Verizon is moving forward on this and on-schedule, while AT&T has just confirmed what company will supply their cabinets and will begin building it out next year. There is no big switch somewhere that somebody simply needs to flip ON for 4G to be ready for you. It takes thousands and thousands of employees and contractors to make it happen, so just wait patiently like everybody else, okay?

      • by jon3k (691256)
        Actually calls will probably sound better [wikipedia.org] over LTE.
        • Actually calls will probably sound better [wikipedia.org] over LTE.

          Until you call someone on a different network, such as the landline network, at which point the voice quality goes back to narrowband.

        • by sznupi (719324)

          But (from your own link) the end product of that effort, AMR-WB, is being deployed rigtht now...without the need for LTE network. Even without the need for UMTS/3G; apparently it works also via GSM/2G connections.

      • >Why on earth would anybody care about voice calls when LTE users should have the speed and bandwidth to handle real VoIP calls?

        LTE may not be Skype or Vonage, but it is VoIP:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution#An_.22All_IP_Network.22_.28AIPN.29 [wikipedia.org]

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          Would be great if it had the audio bandwidth of Skype. I'm tired of the crappy voice quality of cell phones being considered "good enough." Landline phones aren't that clear, and I'd love to have 16-bit audio.

      • by k_187 (61692)

        Why on earth would anybody care about voice calls when LTE users should have the speed and bandwidth to handle real VoIP calls?

        The biggest reason is that once everyone is transitioned over to Voice on LTE, three of the four major carriers in the US will be working on the same technology which will give a level of phone interoperability that the US has never seen. Quite honestly, it will change the game to have the ability to take your phone with you instead of relying upon carrier subsidies if you switch.

    • Re:Impressive.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dlevitan (132062) on Monday February 15, 2010 @08:18PM (#31150700)

      The lack of voice over LTE is because it will use the same data channel for voice (i.e. VoIP). So it's not like any of the hardware has to be change. The reason it's not being deployed now is that there's no consensus over how voice should be done on LTE. I'm thrilled that VZW is waiting. LTE will be the global standard, and it will be good if they maintain full compatibility with global networks. Unfortunately, VZW is one of the first companies to deploy it - it appears the rest of the world is lagging behind.

      As for it needing to retain CDMA on phones, that's also good. IT will be a while before VZW deploys LTE with the same coverage as CDMA. This is needed for backwards compatibility.

      While I understand it's a slow process, consider that VZW, unlike most of their competitors, is actively pushing forward with LTE.

      • The lack of voice over LTE is because it will use the same data channel for voice (i.e. VoIP). So it's not like any of the hardware has to be change. The reason it's not being deployed now is that there's no consensus over how voice should be done on LTE.

        How about they just ditch normal voice service and allow users to choose their own VoIP provider? I'm sure companies like Vonage and Skype would be willing to work with Verizon on a project like this.

        Oh, right, because they won't be satisfied unless they can charge $0.40 per minute and $0.20 per SMS. If it's all packets, then they can't justify why an SMS message would cost so much.

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          Why deliver voice packets via best-effort TCP/IP delivery, when you can reserve guaranteed bandwidth for voice on your own network? As a full-time user of VoIP, I can tell you that it's got a long way to go.

          • Why deliver voice packets via best-effort TCP/IP delivery, when you can reserve guaranteed bandwidth for voice on your own network? As a full-time user of VoIP, I can tell you that it's got a long way to go

            They control the air network end-to-end. There's no reason they can't do QoS on IP. Reserving a full channel with lots of dead air is just a recipe for higher costs.

            Remember, AT&T has been all VoIP for a decade - but they own their network so it works. Your experience over the public Internet is li

        • If it's all packets, then they can't justify why an SMS message would cost so much.

          SMS travels in network control packets that get sent regardless of whether there's an SMS message in them or not.

          So, a current cost of $0 doesn't stop them from charging 20 cents now, why would it in the future? They could only allow signed comms on their network and AppStore the developers into submission.

    • by rhadc (14182)

      It's harder than it looks. In an ideal LTE environment, services that had their own dedicated channels in earlier technologies share the IP-based channel. Your average VoIP call is made of bidirectional streams of, say, 20-millisecond samples. When one doesn't arrive, you're missing audio and it's too late to recover. To have decent call quality, the packets must be protected via some resource reservation method - QOS, etc. Your 911 call _IS_ more important than the next guy's file transfer. (I can he

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        The voice won't be going over the public Internet. Just the same data channel. I see no reason for net neutrality complaints.

    • by Sandbags (964742)

      Me thinks this is simply a ploy to keep people on existing, non-700MHz technology for their phone plans, so that Verizon can avoid "open network" devices for a longer time period. Essentially, wether or not your device, that you acwuired from a non-Verizon source, has ANY voice network chip in it other than strictly LTE, then Verizon could refuse it on their network, or refuse to allow the device you bought from them on someone lese's network...

  • by aldld (1663705)
    Damn it, I should have waited to buy my phone, instead of just buying it yesterday!
  • Wimax (Score:5, Informative)

    by Psychotic Lab Mouse (691626) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:55PM (#31149940)
    It is worth nothing that while LTE is still in development Sprint and Clearwire have already deployed 4G services that are operational and covering 30 million people in the US. Wimax is deployed in around 145 countries worldwide. Sprint will have a 4G device in 2Q or 3Q this year, and will likely have 120 million people covered by 4G before LTE is even deployed here.
    • by zero0ne (1309517)

      What are the specs on Sprints 4G?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Typical average speeds are 3-3.5 MB down and 0.5-1 MB up. Peak is around 10 MB down and 5 MB up. As I understand it they are capping up at 1 MB during the phased rollout.
    • Re:Wimax (Score:4, Informative)

      by XXeR (447912) on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:45PM (#31150414)

      Yep, I love my Sprint/Clear Wimax service...I get ~12Mb down / ~1Mb up pretty much everywhere I get a signal! They even already have solutions that will fall back to 3G when 4g isn't available. The coverage is definitely sparse right now (at least in my area I have to be pretty close to a major road and near the city), but they're clearly far ahead of this Verizon/LTE rollout.

    • Cite your source, please. Other data would disagree with your assertion.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dzdragonlord (1424907)

      It is worth nothing that while LTE is still in development Sprint and Clearwire have already deployed 4G services that are operational and covering 30 million people in the US. Wimax is deployed in around 145 countries worldwide. Sprint will have a 4G device in 2Q or 3Q this year, and will likely have 120 million people covered by 4G before LTE is even deployed here.

      But the 4g sprint's rolling out is only 10 mb/s while the 4g verizon will be rolling out will be up to 100 mb/s.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sonicmerlin (1505111)
        Not true. What you're thinking of is LTE evolution, which is still being tested by carriers in other countries. Verizon's LTE is *not* 4G. From wiki: Being described as a 3.9G (beyond 3G but pre-4G) technology the first release LTE does not meet the IMT-advanced requirements for 4G also called IMT Advanced as defined by the International Telecommunication Union such as peak data rates up to 1 Gbit/s. Fortunately, LTE Advanced should be compatible with first release LTE equipment, and should share freq
        • by sznupi (719324)

          In that case, Wimax available on sprint is also not 4G. Heck, from the numbers given by some posters it's in the league of networks definatelly called 3G...

    • by CSMatt (1175471)

      Yes, because what the mobile business desperately needs is another standards war now that 3GPP2/CDMA has bit the dust.

  • Having worked on LTE and LTE Advanced these last two years of my university degree, I can't wait to see and use the actual network... Well, guess I'll have to wait a bit longer to see it in Europe...
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, guess I'll have to wait a bit longer to see it in Europe...

      Not if you are in Oslo or Stockholm, for example...

      http://www.telecoms.com/16997/teliasonera-launches-commercial-lte-in-stockholm-and-oslo

  • An obscure unpopular candybar-shaped brick, preferably with a non-standard keypad and an external antenna and a kick-ass field test app pre-installed. Kinda like the Nokia 6650 [wikipedia.org], but with LTE. I'd cringe if the first production LTE phone was, for example an iPhone 4G or some Google Touchscreen phone that uses LTE to supply a continuous barrage of text based ads
  • 4G? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192)

    Get with it. Here in Nebraska we already have 4-H [ne4hfoundation.org]

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday February 15, 2010 @08:01PM (#31150558) Homepage

    According to Wiki, 4G is packet based only. It's assumed that by the time 4G is rolled out, IP4 addresses will have been exhausted. So does that mean all new 4G phones will use IP6 by default? Sounds like a good idea to me. If your going to make a move to IP6, handheld devices are the perfect place to start rolling out the new IP standard.

    • A great way to get tracked everywhere you go, too. IPV6 addresses are so easy to traceroute. And what fun!

    • by chill (34294)

      No, it means most cellphone IP addresses are NAT -- usually in the 10.x.x.x range.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Randle_Revar (229304)

      For LTE, IPv6 support is required, while IPv4 support is optional

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6#Deployment [wikipedia.org]

    • by CSMatt (1175471)

      Cellular telephone systems present a large deployment field for Internet Protocol devices as mobile telephone service is being transitioned from 3G systems to next generation (4G) technologies in which voice is provisioned as a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. This mandates the use of IPv6 for such networks due to the impending IPv4 address exhaustion. In the U.S., cellular operator Verizon has released technical specifications for devices operating on its future networks.[30] The specification mandates IPv6 operation according to the 3GPP Release 8 Specifications (March 2009) and deprecates IPv4 as an optional capability.

      Wikipedia. [wikipedia.org] Print version of Wikipedia's source. [circleid.com]

    • by BrookHarty (9119)

      Telecoms are already using NAT'ed IP's for mobiles. They are not even using normal NAT IP space due to large amount of IP's needed.

  • No. I don't think so. I can't afford Verizon any more so this spring I close the account and smash the phones to move to another carrier. The phones are junk and the plan costs too much. I'll get new phones if or when I choose a replacement carrier.

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