Verizon's Seidenberg: 500 percent penetration achievable

Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon Communications, is excited about the next generation of wireless--the one that will usher in growth that could see penetration rates of more than 500 percent for the mobile industry.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology will be the enabler unleashing a connected world that not only will see people-to-people connections but people-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications going forward, Seidenberg said during his keynote address today at the CTIA Wireless 2009 show. Devices with a truly open platform is another critical piece.

"There will be no limit on the number of connections as part of the mobile grid," he said. "Everything has the potential to be connected to the web. Call it the 100 percent ceiling."

Verizon has already been pushing this concept on its 3G EV-DO network through its Open Development Lab launched in 2007. To date, the operator has certified some 36 devices, including a smart-grid device that monitors energy consumption and a wireless tablet for the healthcare industry that serves as a portable medical chart, Seidenberg said.

Through the new Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center, announced today, the operator will continue to foster creative solutions to connecting people, places and things in the LTE era, the company announced. The center will help build a broad ecosystem of devices to come on line as Verizon aggressively deploys its LTE network at the end of this year and throughout 2010.

Seidenberg also called for compatibility and standards around device platforms. He said that Verizon plans to join the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) that was established last year by China Mobile Ltd., Japan's Softbank and Vodafone to promote the development of new mobile technologies, applications and services. The initiative aims to use JIL as a platform to develop mobile services and drive innovation and synergy in the industry to benefit their combined global customer base-which is a big number.

"Together, our companies represent 1 billion customers worldwide," he said. "That critical mass of customers will accelerate this market to the tipping point and make these useful applications widely available across any device, any handset, anywhere around the world."

Seidenberg also stressed the need for the industry to rally around openness and compatibility. "LTE's global standards are a big step in that direction, but we still have lots of different operating systems competing for supremacy. The sooner we come together around an open, interoperable environment for development, the faster we'll innovate and the sooner we'll provide the seamless interface across all technology platforms that customers are looking for," he said.

Click here for photos from our keynote...