Leading 4G Network Build Verizon Wireless Also Focuses On Fueling LTE Ecosystem Collaboration
From the LTE Americas 2009 Conference, Tony Melone, Verizon Wireless senior vice president and chief technology officer, said in his keynote this morning that Verizon Wireless’ commitment to network leadership is elementary as it rolls out the nation’s first 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network, and that this leadership commitment extends to “fostering global collaboration and enabling the broader ecosystem needed to exploit the capabilities of a great network.”
He noted his company’s belief that “4G is much more than the sum of higher bandwidth and lower latency. It’s really about embedding broadband wireless into the typical consumer’s life – and it’s about embedding broadband wireless into the basic functions of business and industry.
“We believe the combination of our aggressive deployment and our single-frequency footprint will attract premium partners and make Verizon Wireless the first place that device and applications developers come to sell their products, and ultimately, the first place that customers come to for their 4G services,” Melone said.
He emphasized that “we can’t just wait and let these expectations unfold – we need to drive it,” and that’s why in addition to building one of the first 4G LTE wireless networks on the globe, Verizon Wireless is taking a proactive approach to fuel this ecosystem of innovation through many collaborative initiatives, including:
• Open Development – Established to help third-party developers create and certify devices to run on the company’s network. As a result, Verizon Wireless now has a tested and proven process to certify the multitude of specialty devices that will come as the 4G ecosystem evolves.
• Verizon LTE Innovation Center – An incubator for early development of both traditional and non-traditional products to help the consumer electronics and other industries quickly bring products to market for use on 4G LTE networks.
• Verizon Developer Community and V CAST Apps – A robust group of application developers that can take advantage of the company’s scale and distribution to market their applications to Verizon Wireless customers through its forthcoming application store.
• 4G Venture Forum – Verizon Wireless recently created this new entity that brings together a number of highly regarded venture capital funds, along with its primary infrastructure providers, to quickly identify and commercialize innovation that will harness 4G wireless networks.
• Strategic Partnership with Google – Both companies will devote substantial resources to accelerate delivery of leading-edge innovation that leverages the Verizon Wireless network and the best of the Android open platform to put unique applications in the hands of consumers quickly.
• Joint Innovation Lab – A venture with China Mobile, Japan’s Softbank and Vodafone at the forefront in developing a software platform to allow developers to create mobile applications to run seamlessly across multiple operating systems.
“This type of collaboration was virtually non-existent in our 2G and 3G world,” Melone said. “But LTE offers that global sandbox we all can play in. From equipment vendors and manufacturers, to network operators, to application and widgets developers, and finally and most important, through to our customers – the entire ecosystem can benefit from the simplicity, efficiencies and economies of scale created by a global standard.”
Highlighting Verizon Wireless’ partnership with Vodafone, Melone said the relationship has enabled the companies to work side by side on LTE trials, sharing valuable findings and best practices.
Melone used “One Voice,” an effort by Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and seven other companies announced earlier this morning, as another example of global collaboration, stating that these companies will work together to define a standards-based solution for Voice Over LTE and noting that the solution will do for roaming what inter-carrier SMS did for text messaging.
While pursuing these collaborative initiatives, the company remains focused on the fundamental core of its business: building the best wireless networks, a philosophy it will extend to its 4G LTE network.
“The potential devices and applications possible with 4G cannot work as intended if the network they ride on isn’t fundamentally sound. We can build in all the bells and whistles and make lots of bold claims, but none of it will matter if the LTE network we collectively build isn’t reliable. I can promise you that reliability will continue to be front and center at Verizon Wireless and for our customers,” Melone said.
He reiterated the company’s aggressive 4G LTE network build plan, saying Verizon Wireless plans to launch in 25 to 30 markets in 2010 and cover virtually all of its current nationwide 3G footprint with the next-generation network by the end of 2013.