Rumor: Verizon Racing to Get 4G LTE Network Up for Q1 2010 iPhone and iTablet Launch?!

Mac Touch Concept Rendering

Techcrunch reports sources claiming Verizon is racing to get 20-40 markets up and running on their 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network by Q1 2010 to coincide with an iPhone and iTablet launch.

Verizon is getting 60Mbps in 4G tests which is admittedly ZOMG fast, and since they're going with LTE, this network will be theoretically compatible with AT&T and other GSM carriers also moving to the same technology.

And yes, it does sound too good to be true, but we won't go all Leo Laporte on them just yet...

We know you want your iPhone on Verizon. But what about your iTablet. And are you willing to wait for LTE to get it? Let us know in our poll!

[Thanks Icebike for the tip!]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 54 comments. Add yours.

Charles Scholer says:

I can't imagine ATT getting it's act together anytime soon, so let's see what Verizon can do. ATT is the iPhone's Achilles heel and maybe competition from Verizon force ATT to get it's shit together. 60Mbs? Wow, that just seems light years from what were getting now.

iSkythe says:

Some day 60mbps will be super SLOW! Tehnology is amazing

Jellotime91 says:

There should be an "I live in Canada and I'm locked to Rogers for 3 frackin years so other carriers don't interest me" option. lol

Lequang242 says:

Verizon!!! Lets get sum kompetition flowing with Apple products. All good for the konsumers. The lame AT&T still haven't given us our MMS. Sheeeeat!!!

Jod1921 says:

I'm still waiting on ATT to provide 3g servive in Hot Springs,AR.

notapple says:

btw... sprint will have a 4g network, like now. and the palm pre is way better than the iphone.

Blake says:

The Pre can't even touch the iPhone

only1jonarius says:

4G for AT&T?! they don't even have 3G coverage everywhere yet!!!

Blake says:

But if Pre were on Verizon, I might get it. I want to swap to Verizon really bad, but I just can't give up my iPhone. it's the only reason I'm still with AT&T. So please give me an iPhone one Verizon! Or maybe even the new HTC Hero?

Bosco says:

Isn't this sort of missing the point of what people are asking for? People want the iPhone on Verizon because of the service. If it's on a new network with poor coverage, doesn't that defeat the purpose?

Blake says:

only1jonarius- I would totally agree! I don't have any coverage at my house, let alone 3G. AT&T needs to get it together before they start something else. Verizon has coverage everywhere! And it's the only carrier that has cell service at my house!

PSM says:

Verizon has much better coverage in my home area, but considering I have only been home 2 months out of the last year, I have appreciated that AT&T is better in other areas and have been overall happy with their coverage.
I am really PO'd about AT&T's handling of tethering and MMS, but my hatred and distrust of AT&T is only exceeded by my hatred and distrust of Verizon. At this point I don't have an answer for the poll. I would want to see exactly what Verizon is offering, and even if it seemed very open, I wouldn't trust them to keep it that way in the future. However, if they can completely reverse their philosophy of how they treat their customers, they could make a killing off people leaving AT&T.

Lolipopjones says:

I would love VzW to get LTE... Oh wait its only for Data.... Oh wait its going to be as spotty as Sprints 4G network... OH AND ITS ONLY GOING TO BE FOR DATA CARD?! ITS ALSO GOING TO REQUIRE ALL DEVICES BE EVDO/LTE DEVICE?!
I seriously doubt Apple is going to make an LTE device for everybody else and then make an LTE/EVDO device for VzW..... Oh wait they are... VzW customers will be waiting past 2014 for an iPhone due to VzW plans to be using CDMA for voice WAY past 2012...

Brent Byington says:

If these plans do go trough, I wonder how verizon will handle the app store. Didn't they say only verizon's app store will be on verizon phones? Or will iPhone be the exception, as it has already been with American phones (open app store, unlocked gps, no requirement for proprietary carrier software).
Exciting to see how it'll be handled. Seems the iPhone, if comes to verizon in more or less the form it is on AT&T, will be push verizon to be the premier American carrier, a status it nearly has now.

Dexter says:

Let's see after Verizon sticks their obnoxious, cheap logo on the iPhone how many people will still want it.

Dexter says:

Oh and monthly plans with Verizon? You think AT&T rips us off!?!!? I can't wait! NOT!

TomBurnett says:

TiPB get your "facts" straight. This article is listed in about a million other places and there is no mention of the iPhone coming to Verizon any time soon. Noone knows the exact date of AT&T exclusivity ending - and they are currently in talks to extend it to 2011 (Wall Street Journal). The tablet has been the only thing even remotely confirmed by Verizon execs in public. With the way Verizon locks down (aka cripples) handsets, what makes anyone think they will "open up" to Apple's App store - especially since they are about to start pushing their own - hard. They've even come out and said that Blackberry and WinMo users will not have access to those respective stores "unless the user takes it upon themselves to download and install the app store on their device". Bottom line, Verizon will never cave to Apple's demands for the iPhone. The tablet, that may be another story because it is supposed to be a data-only device.

TomBurnett says:

And...as anyone who works in technology will attest to...when does ANY company meet their rollout date with a project this large??? The US will be lucky to see it's first LTE enabled city in 2012. This is a major undertaking for any company.

Memnautikus says:

I am waiting to switch to vzw asap.

Tranceaddict420 says:

I guess I don't get it. I can't stand AT$T but my friends on Verizon don't like them either. 2 sides of the same coin if you ask me. Virgin has me intrigued with their REASONABLE pricing for unlimited everything. That is something I could get excited about if iPhone were headed that way.

Lolipopjones says:

everyone that thinks the grass is greener on VzW is delusion at best. If there was a possibility of a vzw iPhone then you are telling me CDMA will not ruin the experience? A text comes in and drops the app your are Downloading. I love it when i am trying to download back up assistance on my phone and have to wait 30 minutes because of incoming texts...
Lets not forget that Visual Voicemail will be an extra cost... Everything on VzW is nickle and dimed. Oh and lets see that VzApp Store that they will try and sneek on to the iPhone to sell you junky apps and then their shitty V cast Rhapsody....
In summation that crap would be out of the question.

Doc says:

Only problem is, we have 0 Verizon coverage here. So,. . .

icebike says:

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about LTE.
It might be worth reading up on it a bit before you jump into the fray.
First LTE is an extension of HSPA, and UMTS and one of the design goals is device backward compatibility with those standards.
How well this backward compatibility with current devices will work is anyone's guess. But the main point here is that it blends with the current GSM network making fall-back in areas of no LTE coverage drop dead simple.
Second LTE is GSM, and it is being targeted for deployment in the 700mhz bands recently licensed. This band has better range and building penetration than the bands currently used for GSM. (In general the lower the frequency the better the distance and penetration. Also the lower the data rate given the same frequency range. But frequency ranges are not scarce in 700mhz band).
This means fewer towers can service greater areas, and deployment may not require EVERY tower be upgraded, maybe just every other one.
Further, unlike WiMAX, which requires a TOTALLY NEW network to be built, LTE is an evolution of existing WCDMA/HSPA networks and therefore has the footprint advantage with close to 80% of subscribers worldwide.
Deployment and adoption may be much faster than many expect because hanging another antenna on existing towers, and another transmitter in the rack is not that hard, and far less expensive than the alternatives.
Any new Tower-side equipment will handle 2G/3G/LTE in the same transmitters. Alcatel-Lucent is already marketing large scale integrated solutions of this type.
So as soon as ATT figures out its pointless to continue building out its 3G network and switches to installing the LTE hardware the better. It will cost them less in the long run.
With the existing tower and back-haul network use, and GSM feature set, and capability to handle existing handsets LTE is the clear winner cost wise.
This means the next generation of iPhones, Android phones, (and maybe even Pre phones) only need a radio chipset change to include LTE along with existing radio protocols. The rest of the functionality remains the same GSM feature set they already include.
(Apple's low-bidder, Infineon, has their LTE transceiver package available since January: http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS208137+14-Jan-2009+MW200... ) Swapping in this radio (same foot print as the iPhone's current radio) would be a no-brainer for Apple, especially since Infineon would do it all for free just to retain the contracts).
Bear in mind that LTE, once it gets to the towers is a totally IP based solution. Translation: Everything goes over TCP/IP. So instead of two networks, one for voice and one for data, you need one. Voice goes over IP (Voip) just like web surfing.
Lower back-end network costs mean lower rates. Putting the calls on the internet while continuing to charge blood for a call to France is not going to cut it for very long.
Finally keep this in mind:
Somebody has Congress's Ear right now. HINT: Its not the carriers. They are on Congress's shitlist.
The investigations of device exclusivity is spreading to other issues. SMS charges, Roaming Fees, International Calling rates, etc.
I believe the FCC and Congress is not going to stand for the isolated networks any more. Verizon's LTE is going to be compatible with ATT. No more hiding in CDMA land enjoying their customer lockin. No more huge roaming fees. Write your Congressman.
Some interesting links
http://technologizer.com/2009/05/20/lte-vs-wimax-the-4g-wireless-war/
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/01/09/technology/technology_3009282...
http://tinyurl.com/m38owc (PCworld)

Hakala says:

I get reasonable data and voice coverage where I am at with AT&T. No further comments.

frog says:

An iPhone that can't make phone calls, and only has data in 40 markets.
Ummm, no!
Apple won't be making an EVDO handset, and that's what Verizon customers will be reliant on for many years to come.

Shug says:

If anyone has had to deal with Verizon customer service knows how much they suck. I will never use them for any service they provide. To be honest if the iPhone had originally come out on vzw, I would have never made the switch from tmobile.

icebike says:

Frog:
Verizon will beat ATT to LTE.
They are NOT sticking with EVDO.http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/021809-mwc-verizon.html

Levertis says:

AT&T is a o.k. company it has rollover minutes and it has good coverage i will have a iPhone and i will b with AT&T for the rest of my life.
i will die with a iPhone in my hand

Lolipopjones says:

@Icebike: Wrong they are not stick with EVDO as their Data. Verizon is using CDMA as their Voice network. Meaning all of their devices will be LTE/CDMA devices. Apple will have to still make Dual chipset iPhones for Verizon beyond 2014.
Why? Because the VzW Roadmap for has them using CDMA well beyond 2014 as their Voice Network.
Its commons sense.... if they discarded their CDMA network for LTE their coverage map would be smaller then nTelos... LTE is not a compatible Technology with CDMA so they will be forced for a long time to use that standard.
VzW's LTE deployment=Bragging rights but intangible for a long time.
Its like Wimax.. Sprint has their 4G network but almost all its customers are using 3G. WHy because it takes time to build and slowly displace its 3G network.

Truth says:

@ Blake
Apple can't touch Microsoft
Seriously the Pre was released 2 months ago.
The iphone was released 2 years ago.

Two cents says:

Wasn't Apple going to VZW first, so I'm thinking they could have made an iPhone for them anyway. They are still on the same network aren't they? AT&T sucks in my area, so does Sprint. Verizon is the only signal I can get. I am hoping they come to VZW. They should just make iPhones for every carrier and let consumers choose. Everyone is happy. Apple's got the dough to do it.

Lolipopjones says:

CDMA Chipsets are more expensive then GSM Chipsets and when you have two different model iPhones it then requires two different sets of firmware. This means it Drives up Apple's costs. With making a GSM only and then an LTE only device they drive down there operational costs. Look to VzW's Storm vs Vodafones GSM Storm. Vodafone Storm users had less problems then their Gateway device variant.
Why should they make a CDMA variant device? Because VzW wants it? The Largest CDMA carrier in the world CHina Telecom couldn't get the iPhone... It went to China Unicom that dumped its CDMA network and went all GSM...

Blake says:

@ Truth- Microsoft isnt the Pre, and the iPhone was released two years ago, and it took Palm this long to come up with something to compete with it. Apple has only been in smartphone business for two years, and how about Palm? A lot longer than Apple, and yet they still can't touch the iPhone with it's over 50,000 apps available for download, and over 1.5 billion downloads in ONE year. An if you looked at the statistics, te only reason Apple can't touch Microsoft is because of sales. And just recenly they announced that 91% of people buying computers over $1,000 are buying Macs. because they want something that is powerful, troublefree, and long lasting.

Lolipopjones says:

@Icebike: You are completely right on some aspects but VzW doesn't plan to use LTE for voice for a long time. This comes from Vz Learn "LTE Transition". Its a course for its employees that explains to the Transition VzW is going through from going CDMA to LTE.
VzW plans to partition their network as they have currently. The plan for VzW is to use their CDMA network for voice freeing up LTE to be used for Data so to avoid congestion like AT&T has currently.
The other part to it is the reason for AT&T's upgrade of its current HSPA+ is more of an effort to partition their network.
People do not realize that 3G is not marketed for phones but Data cards. Its like the current problem with EDGE vs 3G. Most Devices on AT&T's network uses 3G even if they do not have to. This causes even the basic phones to compete with Data cards and Smartphones for Bandwidth. If AT&T juts jumps to LTE and ignores their 3G network they will run into the same issues they have now. Everyone will use the LTE network and they will be faced with massive congestion.
The reason for building up HSPA+ for AT&T is to allow devices that need LTE its use while making devices that see no worth of LTE to access HSPA+. In other words 4G for those who have devices that can use it while 3G for those who have no benefit.

Derek says:

Apple also gets more iPhone sales because of the subsidies AT&T pays. That is a big reason Apple continues to stick with AT&T exclusivity. Everyone likes to complain about AT&T, but that doesn't stop millions of people from leaving their Verizon contract to get an iPhone with AT&T.
And more consumers are likely to be willing to switch to AT&T and get an iPhone for $300 than they are willing to stick with their own carrier and buy an iPhone for $500.

Blake says:

@Derek- I would honestly be fine with paying $500 for an iPhone with coverage at my house! oh wait, half of us already paid $450-$550 to upgrade to 3GS from the 3G..... And yet I still have zero coverage at my house! Maybe of we could just get that MicroCell that's we've all been waiting for! And pray it doesn't have monthly fees! Then I would be happy with AT&T

LonerATO says:

LTE isn't a GSM based network, but is the upgrade path for GSM. LTE uses OFDMA or Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access as it is known. Does it really matter if Verizon gets the iPhone or not? I mean Apple wouldn't be in talks with them if it wasn't in their best interest.

W. Thoms says:

Speculation friends. Send some $ to starving kids. Get a life.

smchrist2 says:

I hope you all know that 60 MegaBITS per sec is only 7.5 MegaBYTES per second. That's fast but AT&T already has 7.2 MB per second and you won't notice that .3 MB per second difference in the real world

Dyvim says:

I'm not that concerned about AT&T vs. Verizon. What interests me is this: I would like an iTablet, but I refuse to pay for yet another data plan when I'm already paying one for my iPhone. So if a data plan (esp. one on a different network with a different contract and commitment) is required, then no sale for me.

Dev says:

@smchrist2
The only way to get 7.2MB/sec on AT&T is to sit 6 phones side by side and add up the speeds. I kno what AT&T marketing claims, but these 7.2 Shangri-Las have yet to be found by explorers, and those of us in 3.x land rarely see anything out of the 1s, unless lower. Verizon may fall just as short, of course, but AT&T has already demonstrated a large gap between what it claims to provide to iPhone customers and what it actually delivers, which is why so many are ready to jump to the devil they don't know.

MontyTheMooch says:

The more I hear about this tablet, the more I'm turned off by it.

Chrish says:

The only thing that is stopping me from getting an iPhone is AT&T
...once the exclusivity ends...I'm all over that :)

Ed says:

hi
I'm working for a company that it's sub contract with Ericsson about a month ago we got a new project that verizon is testing new network in Seattle area but the info for what kind of test or network would be has not exposed yet as soon as I get the news I let you guys know by the way ATT now is testing its 3.5(HSDPA) soon they will test their 21 mb

steve says:

Amazing! Apple Technology has already been very popular and now this technology is certainly going to rock the world.This is not only hi-tech but it is looking beautiful.
There are more features and articles on here:
http://www.touchuserguide.com

larrymcj says:

@jod1921: Hot Springs and Hot Springs Village will have 3G beginning on Sep 30, 2009 :-)

Balls says:

@the AT&T/iPhone haters. What are you waiting for? If you don't live in the boonies AT&T service is great, actually I have much, that's right, much better call and especially data coverage than I did with Alltel/verizon oh and I pay way way less, like a $75 less for a family plan than I did with alltel. The only people that bitch and compalin about iPhone and AT&T are the people that don't have one. I know because I was one of those people that let AT&T supposed crappy service hinder my switch. Best thing I ever did was switch. With iPhone you actually get use of that data plan you pay for, I use this thing more for Internet, email, wasting time than I do as a phone and I actually make use of that data plan that is worthless on other carriers unless you are tehtering. Does Not having Mms really bug me? No, because emailing a picture is easier than putting my pants on in the morning. iPhone rapes, don't hate cause you are too cheap to buy out your contract and enjoy amazingness. Have fun with your blackberry. "want to mute iPhone hatters?- there's an app for that"

AT&T rules says:

lol. Well said Balls. I think that I would move if I had to live in one of those desolate fly-over areas where I was locked to one wireless provider. I travel regularly to several cities across the US and never have a problem with AT&T coverage. I guess if I was forced to live in a podunk area, then I would pay a premium price for service. But then again, if I lived in one of these areas, who would I be calling, the farm animals?

MGP says:

Verizon doesn't need an old tech phone like the iPhone. Let ATT keep it. Verizon needs to give us the HTC HD2. It's the gold standard now and the one to beat!

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