Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, is set to unveil details about its plan to launch its LTE 4G wireless networks in the United States.
Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, is a technology that offers high-speed broadband and high-end multimedia services.
Verizon has called a teleconference today at 12 Eastern Time and Tony Melone, Verizon's senior vice president and CTO, will explain and answer questions over the company's 4G plans.
New York-based Verizon had been promising to launch its 4G network in December, and in the call, the company is expected confirm its plans to roll out LTE service in 38 U.S. cities by the end of the year and to the entire nation by 2013.
Verizon Wireless expects 4G LTE average data rates to be 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink in real-world, loaded network environments. These speeds are significantly faster than Verizon Wireless and other wireless providers' current or promised 3G network speeds.
Verizon's 4G plans could be a negative for arch rival AT&T and assumes significance as Apple's next iPhone is rumored to come to Verizon's network early next year rather than AT&T, which has been carrying iPhone for more than three years. Verizon is already started selling Apple's iPad along with AT&T in its stores starting Oct. 28.
Like two prize fighters trading blows, AT&T and Verizon Wireless continue to push each other publicly over whose network is better. AT&T, the second largest U.S. wireless carrier, plans to begin an LTE rollout in 2011.
Verizon has already released commercials promoting the network and is planning a roll out in 38 major metropolitan areas. Nearly on cue, AT&T has responded with a news release saying it has the nation's fastest broadband network according to a third party test done by industry testing firm Global Wireless Solutions Inc.
The data from Global Wireless Solutions, which is a highly respected outside firm, was tested from around the country and has found we are 20 percent faster than the next fastest broadband network and 60 percent faster than our largest competitor. You can do the math on who that is, AT&T Spokesperson Mark Siegel said. We're the fastest in the nation, period.
As an example of the speed favoring AT&T, the company said an 80-megabyte video file would download about two minutes faster on average on its network compared to the next highest competitor. The same video would take five minutes longer on Verizon's network.
According to Siegel, GWS tested the data speeds of each network on nearly 950,000 road miles in more than 400 U.S. markets representing about 88 percent of the U.S. population. Quite simply, it was not an isolated test, he affirmed. GWS could not be reached for comment.
Another player Sprint Nextel, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, has reached 68 WiMax markets over the past two years. Kansas-based Sprint is building its 4G network using WiMAX technology from Clearwire Corp. (CLWR), in which Sprint owns a majority stake.
Shares of Verizon were up 33 cents or 1 percent in Wednesday's pre-market hours on the NYSE. They closed Tuesday's regular trading at $32.01.