Verizon lighting up LTE in 30 'NFL cities' this year

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) plans to launch commercial LTE services in the top 30 markets--essentially where there are National Football League teams--by the end of the year, a Verizon official said Wednesday.

Speaking to enterprise IT professionals at a meeting co-hosted by Verizon LTE vendor Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ:ALU) in Bethesda, Md., Bernie McMonagle, Verizon's associate director for federal government data solutions, did not give a specific date for when the carrier's LTE service will launch. Verizon previously has said it will launch LTE in 25-30 markets in the fourth quarter, covering 100 million POPs.

The meeting was intended to showcase what LTE can do for businesses. Verizon has promised real-world LTE speeds of 5-12 Mbps downlink and 2-5 Mbps uplink, with latency of 30 to 150 milliseconds--a significant improvement over its current EV-DO network.

At the meeting, both Verizon and Alcatel-Lucent officials touted LTE's global reach as well as the flat-IP architecture of the network. Alcatel-Lucent executives, in particular, demonstrated a variety of real-world applications for LTE, including for security, video uploading and editing and for use by utility workers in the field to communicate with support personnel.

On LTE devices, McMonagle reiterated what Verizon has been saying for some time: Laptops and USB dongles will come first, followed by LTE smartphones by the middle of next year. Verizon envisions having everyday appliances and devices--from cars to refrigerators--connected to LTE. Verizon declined to specify its pricing scheme for LTE, but executives have previously hinted that the company will transition to some kind of usage-based pricing model for the service.

Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson confirmed to FierceWireless that the company has been holding meetings similar to the one in Bethesda in markets across the country for months. The purpose, he said, is to showcase LTE in conjunction with the carrier's vendors to potential business customers. Verizon has another meeting scheduled in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 18 that invites attendees to see "how Verizon 4G will impact the way you do business," according to an invitation obtained by FierceWireless.

For more:
- see this eWeek article

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