Verizon 4G LTE - First Impressions

This week, I was given a demo of Verizon's new LTE network. What I saw was much more than an evolutionary improvement. Verizon's 3G network capabilities were good, but they still didn't really provide a great user experience in terms of speed and latency. It was a typical WWAN experience. Compared to my previous usage of Verizon's 3G network, LTE is revolutionary. At the beginning of the demo, the netbook being used was streaming video from a Slingbox as well as from an online site. I decided to push the capabilities a bit, and began streaming video from one of my client's servers. While streaming all three videos concurrently, I downloaded a 40MB file at a rate of 1.1MB/s. Yes, that capital "B" is correct. During the entire demo, the speed was fantastic, and I only saw stuttering of video once. A quick look at the computer's resource utilization showed that the stuttering was due to limitations of the CPU in the relatively low-powered netbook we were using, and not the LTE network. Please see the previous post for further details on the release!

Verizon 4G LTE Announcement

Today, I attended a news conference held by Verizon Wireless to discuss their pending 4G LTE deployment in many areas of the country, including several areas of Ohio.  Please see the below press release for the details of the press conference.  I am scheduled to meet with a Verizon representative to see the new technology in action tomorrow, prior to the official launch on December 5th, and will post my impressions shortly thereafter.  The new network sounds quite exciting, and I am eager to see the ramifications on the mobile market if it takes off as expected.  Below is the official information:


Laptop Users Benefit First from Fastest and Most Advanced Wireless Network, Arriving in 38 Major Metropolitan Areas with New Value-Priced 4G Data Plans

      BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless announced today it is turning on the world’s first large-scale 4G LTE network on Sunday, Dec. 5.  Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network will be the fastest and most advanced 4G network in America.  Business users will be the first to take advantage of the 4G LTE network with speeds up to 10 times faster than the company’s 3G network.
    With the launch, Verizon Wireless is also offering new value-priced 4G LTE Mobile Broadband data plans starting at $50 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance, as well as two new 4G LTE USB modems: the LG VL600 which will be available at launch, and the Pantech UML290, available soon.  
    Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, said, “Beginning Sunday, Verizon Wireless is making the best network even better.  Our initial 4G LTE launch gives customers access to the fastest and most advanced mobile network in America and immediately reaches more than one-third of all Americans, right where they live.  That’s just the start.  We will quickly expand 4G LTE, and by 2013 will reach the existing Verizon Wireless 3G coverage area.”
    Road warriors using laptops will immediately benefit from Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network with super-fast connectivity that’s up to 10 times faster than the company’s current 3G network.  The company expects 4G LTE average data rates in real-world, loaded network environments to be 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.  
    Mead continued, “We are building our 4G LTE network with the same commitment to performance and reliability for which we have long been recognized.  Our commitment to superior network performance, combined with broad 4G coverage areas and the strong value of our data plans make 4G LTE Mobile Broadband the best choice for laptop users.”
    4G LTE Mobile Broadband Data Plans, Devices and Coverage Areas
    Verizon Wireless customers can choose from two 4G LTE Mobile Broadband data plans: $50 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance or $80 monthly access for 10 GB monthly allowance, both with $10/GB overage.  For laptop connectivity, two 4G LTE USB modems will be initially available: the LG VL600 is available at launch and the Pantech UML290 will be available soon, each $99.99 after $50 rebate with a new two-year agreement.  Both USB modems provide backward-compatibility with Verizon Wireless’ 3G network.  If laptop users travel outside of a 4G LTE coverage area, they will automatically stay connected on the company’s 3G network.  
    The two modems harness the power of the company’s 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network to help enterprise, business and government customers make their workforces more productive, providing super-fast laptop connectivity.  Both modems will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, online at  HYPERLINK "", by phone by calling 1-800 256-4646 and through the company’s business sales channels.    
    The company expects consumer-oriented handsets will be available by mid-2011.
    Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network is initially launching in 38 major metropolitan areas and in more than 60 commercial airports coast to coast – at both airports within the launch areas plus airports in other key cities.   Street level coverage area maps will be available online on Dec. 5.  Today, customers can go to HYPERLINK "" \l "/4g-network-verizon-wireless" to check if their addresses will be in the initial 4G LTE coverage area.  
    Spectrum and Network Partners
    By leveraging its 700 MHz spectrum for LTE deployment in the United States, Verizon Wireless is capable of quickly deploying a high-quality wireless broadband network with excellent coverage.  Verizon Wireless’ primary 4G LTE network vendors, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, are providing the underlying infrastructure for the 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network.  
Visit  HYPERLINK "" for more information about Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network.  
Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Initial Major Metropolitan Area Deployment (Dec. 5, 2010)
Akron, Ohio
Athens, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colorado
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Houston, Texas
Jacksonville, Florida
Las Vegas, Nevada
Los Angeles, California
Miami, Florida
Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Nashville, Tennessee
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York, New York
Oakland, California
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Orlando, Florida
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Rochester, New York
San Antonio, Texas
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
St. Louis, Missouri
Tampa, Florida
Washington, D.C.
West Lafayette, Indiana
West Palm Beach, Florida

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Initial Commercial Airport Deployment (Airport Name, City, State) Dec. 5, 2010
Austin-Bergstrom International, Austin, Texas
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshal, Glen Burnie, Maryland
Bob Hope, Burbank, California
Boeing Field/King County International, Seattle, Washington
Charlotte/Douglas International, Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago Midway International, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago O’Hare International, Chicago, Illinois
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Covington, Kentucky
Cleveland-Hopkins International, Cleveland, Ohio
Dallas Love Field, Dallas, Texas
Dallas/Fort Worth International, Fort Worth, Texas
Denver International, Denver, Colorado
Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
George Bush Intercontinental/Houston, Houston, Texas
Greater Rochester International, Rochester, New York
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Atlanta, Georgia
Honolulu International, Honolulu, Hawaii
Jacksonville International, Jacksonville, Florida
John F. Kennedy International, New York, New York
John Wayne Airport-Orange County, Santa Ana, California
Kansas City International, Kansas City, Missouri
La Guardia, New York, New York
Lambert-St. Louis International, St. Louis, Missouri
Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Bedford, Massachusetts
Long Beach/Daugherty Field, Long Beach, California
Los Angeles International, Los Angeles, California
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International, Metairie, Louisiana
McCarran International, Las Vegas, Nevada
Memphis International, Memphis, Tennessee
Metropolitan Oakland International, Oakland, California
Miami International, Miami, Florida
Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nashville International, Nashville, Tennessee
New Castle, Wilmington, Delaware
Newark Liberty International, Newark, New Jersey
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International, San Jose, California
North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
Orlando International, Orlando, Florida
Orlando Sanford International, Sanford, Florida
Palm Beach International, West Palm Beach, Florida
Philadelphia International, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway, Mesa, Arizona
Pittsburgh International, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Port Columbus International, Columbus, Ohio
Portland International, Portland, Oregon
Rickenbacker International, Columbus, Ohio
Ronald Reagan Washington National, Arlington, Virginia
Sacramento International, Sacramento, California
Salt Lake City International, Salt Lake City, Utah
San Antonio International, San Antonio, Texas
San Diego International, San Diego, California
San Francisco International, San Francisco, California
Seattle-Tacoma International, Seattle, Washington
St. Augustine, Saint Augustine, Florida
St. Petersburg-Clearwater International, Clearwater, Florida
Tampa International, Tampa, Florida
Teterboro, Teterboro, New Jersey
Trenton Mercer, Trenton, New Jersey
Washington Dulles International, Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C.
Will Rogers World, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
William P. Hobby, Houston, Texas

# # #

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit  HYPERLINK "" To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at  HYPERLINK ""

NOTE: This press release contains statements about expected future events and financial results that are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties.  For those statements, which may include or be preceded by such words as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and similar expressions, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this presentation and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise them for any reason.

The following important factors, in addition to those discussed under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K (No. 333-160446), could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: changes in economic conditions; our ability to complete transactions relating to acquisitions and dispositions, including the integration of the Alltel business; changes in the ratings of our debt securities or those of Verizon Communications; adverse conditions in the credit markets impacting cost or availability of financing sufficient to meet our capital requirements; our ability to acquire and retain customers; our continued provision of satisfactory service to our customers at an acceptable price; the effects of competition; our ability to adapt to changing conditions in the wireless industry; the ability of our key suppliers to meet their obligations to us; the effects of material changes in available technology, including technology substitution and the cost of deployment; the impact of continued unionization efforts with respect to our employees; adverse regulatory and taxation developments; the effects of litigation; the impact of equipment failures, natural disasters, terrorist acts or other breaches of network or information technology security; and the effects of any required future changes in accounting assumptions.


Droid 2 - Verizon Wireless

When the Motorola Droid launched late last year, the hype surrounding the new phone was impressive to say the least.  While clearly it was an impressive effort, and provided clear competition in the market, it did leave a few things to be desired.  The Motorola Droid 2 has addressed those issues, and became the first to offer a limited edition R2-D2 model in the process; modeled after the famed Star Wars droid.  Where the phone truly shines, however, is in the impressive hardware and feature improvements.

The most obvious hardware change comes when the redesigned keyboard is slid out.  The keyboard was arguably one of the bigger problems seen with the original Droid.  The Droid 2 eliminates the d-pad seen on the previous model, and frees up space allowing a much improved typing experience. In addition to being resized and rearranged, the keys are also slightly domed on the top making it much easier to feel the separations between keys.  The Droid 2 also packs an upgraded 1 GHz processor as well as 512 MB of RAM, doubling that seen in its predecessor.  One place where the hardware remains lacking is the camera.  Speed and image quality are still disappointing at times, and video is recorded at just 480p.

The Droid 2 ships with Android 2.2, and the software definitely feels snappy.  The UI on the home screen is refreshingly clean, showing only a few icons out of the box.  There are a total of seven pages which can be accessed by swiping left or right.  Each screen will show shortcuts for accessing phone and contacts features, on either side of the app drawer shortcut.  Unlike some other Android handsets, the home screen on the Droid 2 can rotate to landscape mode.  One bit of UI polish I would have liked to see is the option for this to be based around the accelerometer.  Instead the screen rotates only after sliding out the keyboard.  Conversely, screen rotation within applications is independent of the keyboard, using the accelerometer instead.

The included web browser coupled with Verizon's network does a good job at loading web pages quickly and beautifully.  Scrolling felt slightly rough at times, but not enough to impact the experience.  The Droid 2 ships with Flash 10.1 mobile pre-loaded which really helps make browsing seem less like you're on a phone and more like the normal computer browsing experience.

The Droid 2 with Verizon has proven to be a solid option in the Android market.  Android 2.2 along with the Motorola customizations makes a good showing coupled with the improved hardware in the device, and the integration with various e-mail and social media platforms is quite robust.  Anyone looking for a first Android device, or an upgrade from a previous model should definitely give the Droid 2 a serious look.



Story of my life

I've certainly run in to a few users at work that this cartoon describes perfectly!



Well hello there!  I see you made it to the new site, good to have you.  The changes you will see have been partially prompted by requests from friends and family members to see more postings relating to myself, rather than just technology.  I should be able to accomodate that now.  Don't worry tech people, no need to even see those posts if you don't want to.  Either way, please read on for instructions on getting what you want.

My main web site address is now  If you go to that address, you'll see all of my posts; both personal and technology.  From there, you can click the links on the left hand side of the page to see technology posts only, or personal posts only.  My old blog address, still works, and will now take you directly to the tech only page.  Anyone that came here for tech posts, just keep doing what you were doing.

Finally, anyone that is interested in seeing some of my photography can see the "Pictures" link on the left side of the page.  I'm still working to get more pictures up, but you can feel free to check out the new gallery functionality I have.

Again, thanks for stopping by, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments!