Verizon-led investment group commits $1.3B to LTE development

Verizon Wireless, currently in the midst of pushing the technological and logistical details of its LTE buildout, today turned to the financial side of the equation. The carrier unveiled its new 4G Venture Forum, a venture capital collaboration aimed at encouraging investment in LTE technologies and devices and helping bring them to market.

The new program will bring together players from both the wireless space and the world of venture capital. Verizon said that partners in the 4GVF include Alcatel-Lucent Ventures, Charles River Partners, New Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures, as well as Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the primary infrastructure vendors for Verizon's LTE network.

Essentially, the venture capital firms will identify and help commercialize ideas, and Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson will bring their expertise to bear. The 4GVF will fund new ideas, provide development assistance and validate and tests the ideas.

Verizon said 4GVF members have identified up to $1.3 billion available for 4GVF development.

Verizon CTO Tony Melone said in a recent interview with FierceWireless that Verizon intended to be aggressive in its LTE push. Indeed, the carrier is among the first in the world to commercially deploy LTE services, and expects to have 30 commercial LTE markets up and running in 2010 with a nationwide buildout completed in late 2013 or early 2014.

For more:
- see this release

Related Articles:
Verizon's Melone reiterates LTE deployment plans
Verizon's Melone details 4G plans for backhaul, antennas and backup power
Verizon's Dick Lynch reveals LTE equipment vendors
Can you hear my LTE call now? Verizon begins 4G rollout
Verizon clarifies LTE buildout plans
Verizon Wireless CTO spurns network outsourcing, posits on EVDO shutdown