Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is moving closer to the commercial launch of its LTE network, and the carrier is now conducting friendly user trials in five unnamed cities to get feedback on the network.
"Technical trials are staged [and] tiered in accordance with industry standards," Verizon spokesman David Clevenger told ZDNet. "They're [now] completed." He said the company is focused on the user trials, but Verizon is not disclosing where the trials are taking place or any information about the users.
Verizon has been making steady progress toward its commercial deployment, and has said it will launch 25-30 markets using its 700 MHz spectrum in the fourth quarter. The carrier has been conducting technical trials in Boston and Seattle, and reported that the network will provide average data speeds of 5-12 Mbps for downloads and 2-5 Mbps for uploads.
Verizon plans to demonstrate a variety of LTE devices at next year's Consumer Electronics Show, and has said it will have up to five LTE handset on the market by the middle of next year.
Additionally, Verizon has started a project to partner with rural carriers, tower companies and backhaul firms to license its spectrum in an effort to build out LTE in rural areas. So far, rural carrier groups have responded with a mixture of skepticism and cautious enthusiasm.
- see this ZDNet article
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