Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam says that all the top smartphone makers are working on models for the carrier’s nascent 4G network.
McAdam, speaking at the Reuters Global Technology Summit, predicted that, this time next year, Verizon will be offering three to five phones with LTE support.
HTC, LG, Motorola, and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion are all developing 4G for the carrier, and that is apparently just the start. “I’d say all the major manufacturers we’re talking to today are making the transition to LTE,” McAdam said.
This is the first time Verizon’s CEO has announced that several LTE-enabled phones will be available by next spring. Just a few months ago, McAdam had said his company wouldn’t have a 4G model on the market until next summer.
The carrier may be feeling pressure from competitors to give customers access to its 4G network; rival Sprint’s first 4G smartphone is going to be released next month.
McAdam’s comments lend a bit of credence to an unconfirmed report that a version of the Apple iPhone with LTE support will be introduced by Verizon this summer. A separate report indicated that a version of the HTC EVO 4G with LTE is also in development for the carrier.
More about LTE
Verizon’s LTE network will provide data transfer speeds much higher than current 3G networks. In ideal conditions, LTE will offer 40-50 Mbps for downloads and 20-25 Mbps for uploads. According to trials held in Verizon’s test markets of Boston and Seattle, this 4G network will offer average download speeds of 5-12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2-5 Mbps in real world environments.
The carrier plans to offer LTE service in 25 to 30 U.S. markets covering roughly 100 million people by year’s end.
LTE is a data-only service, so Verizon’s first-generation LTE models are expected to also offer support for its voice-only network that uses the CDMA standard. These models will also include the 3G standard EV-DO.