Verizon’s announcement Wednesday of its roll-out plans to complete a 4G “LTE” network before the end of the year creates the stage for a possible boom market in mobile video. The New York-based telecom says its new fast transmission spec–which will eventually deliver the same coverage area as its 3G network does today–will appear in 38 major metro areas, as well as 60 airports in “key cities outside of the initial launch area.”
Many of today’s 3G networks–including Verizon’s–have been criticized for not providing adequate bandwidth to handle simultaneous transmission of both real-time video transmission as well as a voice signal. With its 4G signal throughput potentially 10 times higher than today’s 3G, CNN’s Mark Milian says Verizon’s LTE will hit speeds “faster than Sprint’s 4G and T-Mobile’s HSPA+ networks.”
Sheer speed isn’t an end in itself. Milian quotes Verizon CTO Tony Melone as saying that “This network will be very conducive to video.”
Prognostications–along with hopes and plain out pleadings–seemed to have grown for a Verizon-branded iPhone since the first spat of bloggers and other commentators bad rapping AT&T for its signal fumbling after being hit with the mass o’ data generated by the iPhone. An added unfortunate twist came for the company when the number of dropped calls in the New York and San Francisco markets seemed especially high. Those are two cities, of course, where you don’t want to end up alienating iPhone-loving techies and media folks.
On Thursday, October 7th, in a front page article, the Wall Street Journal confirmed that “AT& T Inc. is about to lose its lock on the iPhone” as Verizon Wireless will sell its version of the iPhone “early next year, according to people familiar with the matter.”
We’ll have to see if Verizon, with its old-school-telco tech chops, can itself handle a rush of an estimated 10 million or so new customers desperate for fast and stable digital pipes. If so, we could be entering a golden age for video on the go .