Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) thinks Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) needs to bring LTE to its Windows Phone platform for the devices to truly take off with the carrier, according to a senior Verizon executive.
"We've communicated to Microsoft that LTE is critical to us," Verizon CMO Marni Walden told CNET. "We need to see a timeline that makes sense if we want to continue to represent them." Verizon currently offers one Windows Phone device, the HTC Trophy, but has not been nearly as aggressive in promoting the platform as rivals AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA.
Microsoft has indicated it will add LTE support to the platform but has not said when. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has also said that its first Windows Phones devices for the U.S. market will likely include LTE, though it remains unclear if Verizon will be one of Nokia's first carrier partners for its Windows Phone devices. Walden said Verizon continues to work with Microsoft on the issue.
Regardless of whether Verizon and Microsoft find common ground, Verizon is moving full steam ahead with its plan to put more LTE devices into consumers' hands. Walden said the "vast majority" of the smartphones the company launches next year will have LTE. The company currently offers 16 LTE devices and will have at least 20 by year-end. Additionally, according to the CNET report, by Dec. 15 Verizon's LTE network will cover 200 million POPs, higher than the carrier's previous target of 186 million POPs.
However, Walden did acknowledge that Verizon currently has a flood of LTE devices out in the market, including flagship devices running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform like the Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Droid Razr and HTC Rezound as well as the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Nexus. "This year was an anomaly," Walden said. "I would expect more time separation between devices" next year. Walden said next year Verizon will launch only one flagship Droid device in each quarter.
- see this CNET article
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