Verizon Wireless says it has completed its first successful Long Term Evolution data calls in Boston and Seattle based on the 3GPP Release 8 standard.
The announcement comes amid rumors that the carrier may be courting some high-profile devices from Apple. Recent rumors that are increasingly gaining credibility put an iPhone and an Apple tablet on Verizon’s network sometime in 2010. Additionally, an LTE-capable Verizon would negate the need for Apple to create a CDMA version of the iPhone, as AT&T is also moving to that technology.
Verizon isn’t commenting on Apple device rumors, but observers say Verizon may be hurrying its rollout of LTE in an effort to avoid the plight of AT&T, which has been receiving its share of criticism for rolling out the iPhone on a 3G network that simply wasn’t ready for the device’s high-bandwidth demands.
In a press release, the carrier said the successful data calls involved streaming video, file uploads and downloads, and Web browsing and voice transmissions using VoIP.
The data calls were made over the 700 MHz spectrum in Boston and Seattle. In both locations, the data calls were executed on commercial infrastructure platforms.
The carrier said it had enlisted the help of Alcatel-Lucent in Boston and Ericsson in Seattle for base station/radio access network. Additionally, LG and Samsung provided trial devices, and Starent Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks provided network equipment. Devices from LG and Samsung will soon be supplemented by devices from ST-Ericsson, Motorola and Qualcomm.
Boston and Seattle each now have 10 LTE 4G cell sites up and running on the 700 MHz spectrum.
Verizon Wireless expects to commercially launch its LTE 4G network in up to 30 markets in 2010, covering 100 million people. Verizon has promised full nationwide 4G coverage by 2013.