Verizon planning LTE push into enterprises

CHICAGO--Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) Mike Lanman laid out the operator's LTE sales strategy for enterprises during his appearance here at the 4G World conference, arguing that Verizon's forthcoming next-generation network will provide a range of new services and functions for businesses.

Verizon’s Mike Lanman discusses LTE in the enterprise.Lanman, president of Verizon's enterprise and government markets effort, said the carrier 18 months ago starting working on how to sell LTE to enterprise CIOs. He said the company has had active discussions with hundreds of CIOs about the possible functions, services and revenue opportunities that super-fast wireless service can support. Lanman noted that the global nature of LTE--160 carriers worldwide have committed to LTE--and likely inexpensive LTE chipsets (via economies of scale) have helped convince a number of businesses to invest in LTE applications and services.

"It's really coming together now," Lanman said. Verizon has said it will launch LTE services this year in 38 markets, covering 110 million POPs, and provide average wireless download speeds of 5-12 Mbps.

Interestingly, Lanman offered 4G World attendees a glimpse into some of the enterprise-focused LTE products Verizon has been shepherding through its development program. (Not surprisingly, Lanman did not identify any companies in his examples.) Lanman said:

  • There are two LTE-powered, in-car infotainment offerings traveling through Verizon's development program.
  • There are some CIOs who plan to shut down satellite sales offices and move those employees to a virtual desktop environment, powered by LTE, sometime in the first quarter of next year.
  • Verizon expects to power two LTE video-conferencing devices "early next year" that will allow field service workers to remotely obtain advice and assistance.
  • Two large retailers are testing LTE-powered video-conferencing kiosks that will connect shoppers with remote salespeople. Lanman said one such effort involves a home improvement retailer and plumbing specialists.
  • One major consumer electronics manufacturer plans to insert LTE connections into household appliances.

While Lanman did offer a rosy view of the enterprise opportunities generated by LTE, many such applications can be run through existing 3G connections. Further, several of Lanman's examples have been bandied by wireless executives for years, and have to date largely stayed in the realm of speculation rather than reality.

Nonetheless, Lanman remained confident of the potential of business-focused LTE. "We are going to change the way they [enterprises] do business," he promised.

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