Verizon Wireless is on track to launch Long Term Evolution in 25 to 30 markets next year, said Tony Melone, the company’s senior vice president and CTO, at a keynote address before the LTE Americas 2009 conference.
“We do hear a little skepticism from time to time from outside quarters regarding our ability to meet these aggressive timelines, and while there is always some risk in going first, I will tell you that we are exactly where we expected to be at this time,” Melone said. “We fully expect to meet our deployment plan.”
Melone said the carrier expects to cover almost all of its nationwide 3G footprint with LTE by the end of 2013, reaching about 95 percent of the U.S. population.
Melone also said that Verizon Wireless is taking a proactive approach to developing an ecosystem of devices and applications around LTE because “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.”
Melone emphasized the carrier’s collaboration with Google and its Open Development initiative as examples of Verizon’s change in approach.
“We recognize that we can’t be all things to all people in a 4G world … and we don’t have to be,” Melone said. “The scale, scope and performance potential of LTE holds out the promise for enormous collaboration on the world stage in ways our industry did not – and maybe could not – embrace before now.”