Verizon Wireless to accelerate LTE, keep CDMA and lower data prices

Speaking at Ericsson AB’s annual capital markets day in Boston on Thursday, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone candidly discussed the future of Verizon Wireless’ network. As has been discussed before, Verizon is on a fast track to roll out LTE over 700MHz. The carrier plans to begin “phase four” trials in a few select markets by the end of 2009, deploy the 4G service commercially in 2010 and rapidly accelerate expansion in 2011 and 2012. As Big Red begins the adoption of LTE, what will happen to its current CDMA and EV-DO offerings? According to Melone, Verizon’s CDMA/1xRTT network is very stable for voice services and will remain in place until 2018 or even 2020. The EV-DO network will have a much shorter life span with its current 3G technology being replaced quickly by LTE. No mention of GSM so it looks like those rumors of Verizon Wireless moving to GSM on the way to LTE are indeed false.

In some potentially good news for customers, Melone admitted that Verizon will have to lower prices on data services to remain competitive as high speed mobile broadband continues to expand. He stated that “Pricing is inhibiting the growth of this market. Quite frankly, this is likely to change even before LTE.” Hopefully, the other executives at Verizon share his view on data pricing and implement lower prices sooner rather than later.

[Via DSL Reports]

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