Is Verizon’s 4G LTE Network Ready for More Phones? [Droid Charge, LG Revolution]

Almost half a year ago, yes it’s been that long, Verizon showed off a collection of high end – high speed – 4G LTE smartphones at CES 2011. Now, in the middle of May, we only have one 4G LTE smartphone available on store shelves. The Samsung Droid Charge was supposed to be released by now, but we are still waiting for a selection of 4G LTE smartphones including the LG Revolution.

These delays and issues are bringing up questions about the Verizon 4G network, the most important being, “Is Verizon’s 4G network ready for more phones?” Adam explores the flipside, asking whether the 4G phones are ready for Verizon?

Network Outage – After the HTC ThunderBolt launched, the Verizon 4G network ran fine and fast for a month or wo before grinding to a halt. The nationwide failure of the Verizon 4G network only lasted a day, but it highlighted a weakness in the current system. When the network went down, it didn’t just take 4G, it took 3G — sending users back to the early days of wireless data which relied on slow 1x networks.Verizon has fixed the outage, but the downtime highlighted a problem which we aren’t sure is fixed yet.

Consumer Demand for 4G with Limited Markets – A big part of launching a new phone is having a successful launch. While Verizon is actively rolling out 4G in more cities, with a goal of covering 147 new cities by the end of 2011, there are currently under 50 markets with 4G coverage which cuts out one of the big selling points for 4G phones. Could Verizon be holding the Droid Charge to launch alongside a collection of new markets?

Speeds Will Drop – Right now, Verizon’s 4G network delivers crazy fast speeds to the early adopters. These speeds are much higher than the Verizon quoted speeds of 12Mbps down and 5 Mbps up. When Verizon adds more subscribers, the 4G network will slow down. It should still deliver the quoted network speeds, but is Verizon holding off to deliver a new phones to keep speeds high for early adopters? This seems like the least likely scenario, unless they are concerned of an iPhone-like effect that would drop speeds to the “4G” speeds we see on carriers like AT&T.

Advertisement

4G Data Pricing - Then again, perhaps Verizon just hasn’t figured out the pricing for 4G data plans. We had heard rumors that the unlimited 4G data plan would be short lived, but the plan is still available. The 4G tethering plan for the HTC ThunderBolt will no longer be free in just a few days, and we still don’t have an official price for the wireless tethering option, though it is rumored to come in at $29.99 for unlimited, that would run against the current 4G data plans for MiFi devices which have caps.

 

  

Comments

  1. Greekboy says

    Check out YouTube by greekthuglife69 see how Verizon treats their workers u already know how they treat u.

  2. Logan7 says

    Didn’t anyone notice that Verizon’s 4G LTE system went down nationwide on the same day, almost at the same moment, that the Samsung Charge was due to be released? Was it just coincidence? Or is it possible that pre-activation in the various stores by reps preparing the phones for customers that day actually CAUSED the outage. Just speculation but it seems rather strange. And the Charge still has not been released, with no real info from VZW as to why.

    BTW, I was in a Verizon store here in Los Angeles that day and in spite of rumors to the contrary, the 3G system did not go down. I was using both a Thunderbolt and a Droid Inc2, simultaniously downloading the same file from YouTube. The Droid was much faster and was using the 3G system. The Thunderbolt was showing 1X and much slower. I have read that the real problem was that the Thunderbolt does not automatically switch to 3G if the 4G system is unavailable. It must be manually reconfigured for 3G and then will not go back to 4G without another reconfig & reset. This seems a ridiculous way to configure a phone (and one of the reasons I am waiting for more 4G phones to be released before upgrading.)

    • Jake says

      Ok….

      First off, GSM is more convenient in my opinion. Most countries are GSM not CDMA. Second off get your facts straight, you said you didn’t like Verizon’s product because they were only GSM, this is not true at all. Verizon is CDMA not GSM (perhaps you’re thinking of AT&T or T-Mobile??. However, Verizon does offer phones with GSM Support that are also compatible with CDMA (verizon calls these global phones since GSM is used in most of the world).  I have a HTC Thunderbolt, and it is not GSM, which is one of my gripes with the phone since I can’t use it when I go to Europe. 
      In my opinion GSM is actually a better way to go than CDMA in today’s day and age. My main reason for this is because both AT&T as well as T-Mobile are GSM based and this would allow (in theory) for you to activate a Droid on either one of those carriers instead of Verizon. Again this is in theory, it’d be technically possible, but the carriers may not allow the device, though there are some with AT&T iPhones that have unlocked it and activated it on T-Mobile because they were GSM just like AT&T, but since Verizon is CDMA these iPhones would not work on Verizon’s network (hence why Apple had to make a new CDMA version that would work). Also if Verizon went GSM it possibly might support roaming between carriers. For example, if Verizon doesn’t have coverage then it could technically roam on to AT&T’s network or T-Mobile’s network provided they had coverage.  However, in my experience, usually when Verizon doesn’t have coverage neither does AT&T or T-Mobile, but this could just be where I go so it might not be true everywhere. 

Leave a Reply