Verizon Wireless announced that it is updating its specifications for LTE devices that will run on the network. These new specifications are aimed at helping developers to design products and services that will run on the operators' LTE network, which is scheduled to launch in 2010 in 25 to 30 US markets.
Verizon Wireless said the updated specs will address network access, SMS requirements and data retry test plans. In addition, new information about lab and signaling conformance, open development device approval will be included. The new specs will be outlined in a webcast on the 20th of January.
What will be interesting to see after the webcast is what new applications and business models the application developers come up with. VZW wants the LTE network to expand existing types of applications while opening up entirely new classes of applications at the same time. One example that has been pointed out by VZW is the possibility of appliances such as refrigerators being fitted with wireless monitoring devices. A missing part, for instance, could be pinpointed via a wireless link, cutting service costs. Innovation in advanced video and gaming services are also envisioned by VZW.
It will be interesting to see if other operators deploying LTE at the moment push as hard for new devices and services for LTE as VZW has. TeliaSonera for instance, who have already launched their LTE network, has an agreement with Samsung who is providing it with a USB dongle. There does not seem to be a plan for anywhere near the same level of activity that we have seen with VZW when it comes to launching new devices and apps. So do operators need to go to all the trouble the VZW is?
Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson are the "founding participants" at VZW's LTE Innovation Center in Boston, MA. A group of venture capital firms are also participating in the core working group at the center. In addition to Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, other participants in the core working group include Charles River Ventures, Northbridge Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, New Venture Partners, and Redpoint Ventures.
An interview with Tony Malone, CTO of VZW can be found on the LTE World Series You Tube channel. Tony spoke at the LTE Americas conference in Dallas in November 09.