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Verizon to offer 4G customers ‘buckets’ of data

27 мая 2010

Verizon Wireless, the second largest US mobile network operator, signalled a key shift in its tariff on Wednesday when it said it expected to offer customers who sign up for its new 4G mobile broadband service monthly ‘buckets’ of data rather than more traditional per-minute voice plans with add-on data packages.

US network operators including Verizon Wireless see tiered monthly data plans as a way to capitalise on the recent rapid growth in smartphone-related data traffic and wean users off ‘unlimited’ data plans, while also benefiting from the cost savings associated with 4G networks.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Britain’s Vodafone group, plans to launch commercial services on a new network based on LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology in 30 to 40 US metropolitan markets by the end of this year, and complete the roll-out within three years.

Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless’ chief executive, told investors attending a Barclays Capital media and technology conference in New York on Wednesday that the cost of carrying 1 megabyte of data over its LTE network would be half to one third the cost of carrying the same data over the company’s current 3G network.

Asked about pricing for 4G services, he said: “I expect people will have four or five or perhaps even more devices they will connect to the network,” and that it will therefore make sense for them to buy buckets of data by the megabyte.

At the same time he said he expected all voice traffic originating from LTE subscribers to be carried as a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) data service by 2012, resulting in significant additional savings.

While initial usage of the Verizon Wireless LTE network will be confined to mobile data cards and USB ‘dongles,’ Mr McAdam said the carrier would launch between three and five LTE handsets in the first half of next year and plans to show some of them at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

“People will be surprised by the number and variety of (4G) devices we will bring to the table,” he said. Sprint Nextel is due to launch the first 4G smartphone in the US, the EVO 4G, early next month.

Based on the tests which verizon Wireless has now completed, Mr McAdam said the new LTE network would support significantly faster ‘real world’ mobile data download speeds than the current 3G networks and rival networks using different 4G technologies.

While some rival mobile network operators have focused on price and low-cost pre-paid plans, Mr McAdam said the new network would enable Verizon Wireless to concentrate on “applications and higher bandwidth services” like mobile HD video services and video games.


Источник: Financial Times

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