While 4G LTE technology is still nascent, Verizon Wireless has demonstrated how an LTE network should be deployed and handled with speeds exceeding the promised 12 Mbps and extremely low latency, Verizon is now talking about the future of 4G technologies and roaming.
Currently, the biggest drawback with 4G LTE is that adopters who have purchased the LG Revolution, Samsung Droid Charge, or HTC Thunderbolt could only use those devices domestically. In 4G LTE coverage areas, users can benefit from the extremely fast mobile broadband speeds, which Verizon claims is up to ten times as fast as 3G speeds, and where 4G LTE is not yet available, the devices will default to 3G coverage.
The benefit of 4G coverage is that this is the first time that simultaneous voice and data is offered on Verizon, where data is handled over 4G and voice is passed through on 2G/3G. The downside is that this implementation means that both 4G and 3G radios will have to be fired on at the same time to complete the task, leading to more battery drain. In the future, voice will also be handled through 4G through VoLTE, which is similar to VoIP.
So users on Verizon’s 4G phones cannot roam on international LTe networks, at least not yet anyways. However, Verizon says that in the future, roaming may be a reality for business travelers who love the speeds of 4G: I think the ecosystem will certainly converge at the appropriate time, says the carrier’s chief technology officer. The carrier says that it has engaged in dialogue with both Vodafone and China Mobile.
Another potential would be domestic roaming between Verizon Wireless and AT&T, which is gearing up to launch its own 4G LTE network and begin transitioning away from HSPA+. Verizon operates its network on the upper 700 MHz spectrum for LTE and AT&T will use the lower 700 MHz spectrum so current devices from Verizon won’t be able to roam over to AT&T’s network. However, in the future, Verizon can have manufacturers create radio support so that AT&T roaming would be possible, but that probably will not happen until at least VoLTE is enabled as LTE roaming right now would have data utilize AT&T’s network and voice would still be required to go through Verizon’s CDMA network, making things overly complicated.
Via: All Things D