Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) appears to be gearing up to offer fixed, in-home LTE Internet service sometime in the fourth quarter as an alternative to satellite broadband service. The carrier's plans, disclosed during the company's quarterly conference call last week and highlighted by DSLReports, appear to be an expansion of a test Verizon ran in Erie, Pa., with DirecTV.
"You're going to see that come in the fourth quarter with what we now call the Cantenna, which is not a commercial name obviously, but it's the antenna that we actually trialed with DirecTV, which was extremely successful," said Verizon CFO Fran Shammo, according to a Morningstar transcript of Verizon's call. Shammo said the service will leverage a spectrally efficient antenna.
In a test in Erie, Pa., last year, Verizon and DirecTV offered LTE service to a handful of homes using a rooftop antenna. The homes were equipped with a satellite dish to receive DirecTV video service. By bundling the two services, Verizon and DirecTV could effectively compete with cable companies outside Verizon's traditional FiOS service footprint by combining broadband Internet and video content.
Though Verizon appears to be preparing for a nationwide launch of the system, a number of questions remain. Verizon currently caps mobile LTE usage, starting at 2 GB for $30 per month. The carrier's in-home LTE service presumably also would be capped, though it's unclear if it would fall under the same tiers as Verizon's mobile LTE service. Further, Shammo made no mention of DirecTV as a launch partner for the nationwide offering.
A Verizon spokeswoman declined to comment beyond Shammo's statement.
An in-home LTE service would not be the first bridging between Verizon's wireline and wireless offerings. For example, the carrier's Home Phone Connect offering provides unlimited in-home calling services for cordless phones via the carrier's wireless network.
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