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Verizon On Track For 4G LTE Rollout

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Verizon Wireless remains committed to its plans to offer next-generation, 4G service to 30 cities in the United States by the end of 2010, according to a senior official who spoke at a meeting of enterprise IT managers in Bethesda, Md., on Wednesday, eWeek is reporting.

The 30 cities were not named, but are considered the "National Football League cities" in major metropolitan areas and would cover around 100 million people. 4G service will be deployed on its long term evolution (LTE) wireless network in phases until the rest of the country has access by 2013, Bernie McMonagle, a senior Verizon sales executive said in the meeting.

4G is expected to be used first by laptop wireless cards, followed by other devices, including 4G smartphones and tablets. McMonagle reportedly said he envisions prices of the devices will drop due to the economies of scale that would come from using Verizon's standards-based approach to LTE.

Download speeds for the first phase of Verizon's 4G network are expected to be around 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps, with upload speeds of 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps. At its peak, Verizon's LTE speeds could potentially reach 40-50 Mbps. Sprint's 4G LTE network reaches about 3-6 Mbps, while 3G ideally hits 1 Mbps.

As in enterprise networks, Verizon Wireless's 4G network is expected to use a flat internet protocol (IP) addressing model. In order to support the bandwidth requirements of LTE, where possible, the carrier is upgrading its data network to gigabit Ethernet in order to achieve the backhaul capacity.

Verizon began testing LTE in 2009 in Boston and Seattle with applications including standard web browsing, video streaming, voice over IP (VoIP) calls, and file downloads and uploads.

WiMax competes against 4G LTE but is widely seen as losing ground as more carriers and cell phone makers have shown support for LTE.