Thursday, 24 September 2009

Will LTE Be Reliable When it is First Launched?

“We can build all the bells and whistles and make lots of bold claims, but none of it will matter if the network - and all of the underlying infrastructure that supports the network - isn't fundamentally reliable," This was the comment made by the Verizon CTO, Tony Melone.

Can operators ensure that it will be a smooth evolution to LTE? The launch of the early 3G networks will certainly be in the back of operator’s minds, and with Verizon's promise that LTE will be launched in 25-30 markets next year, and everywhere by the end of 2013; ensuring that everything works when they press the “on” button is no small task.

LTE is expected by some in the industry to have lots of glitches to start with and that it will take some time before the engineers learn how to get the best out of the network, even with all of the trials that have been taking place.

According to Melone, Verizon will focus on delivering the most reliable next-generation LTE wireless network in the USA, and they have already taken a proactive approach on the matter. Various collaborative initiatives are already in place, including:

  • Open Development, meant to offer developers the possibility to come up with devices that will work on its network, with more than 55 devices certified to date;
  • Verizon LTE Innovation Center, also focused on the development of products based on Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network;
  • Verizon Developer Community and V CAST Apps; a group of application developers focused on helping Verizon on delivering new applications to its users on the upcoming network (V CAST Apps should become available before the end of the year)
  • Joint Innovation LabDesignated M2M Focus for Important Market Segments

Another important message to the vendors was the importance of partnerships between operators, vendors and all other LTE industry players, in order to everyone to benefit. But can they all get together to keep costs low in order to reach the mass market?

Tony Melone with be giving an exclusive keynote at the LTE Americas conference on the 4th and 5th of November in Dallas.

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