Verizon Wireless: Despite Doubters, 4G Handsets Still on Track

Verizon Wireless is still on pace to release 4G LTE smartphones by the end of the second quarter.

Speaking this week at a Credit Suisse conference, Verizon Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone said Verizon Wireless expects to release the handsets before the second half of the year, ZDNet reported.

First half of the year is what we promised, first half of the year is still on track,” Melone said in response to a question about why the devices are taking longer than some observers anticipated. So we dont believe there are any new or surprising issues. I think what were facing is what you would expect, and that is a new technology, you are working through issues.”

A joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group PLC, Verizon Wireless is making the transition from 3G CDMA to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology that supports 4G voice and data services.

The company recently introduced 4G services over its LTE network in 39 markets and roughly 60 commercial airports, but the services are only available today on laptops with specific USB modems.

Verizon Wireless, which serves 94.1 million subscribers, will make available a select number of 4G-compatible handsets later this year, including the LG Revolution and HTC ThunderBolt.

The company plans to expand its LTE network to cover its entire 3G CDMA-based territory over the next three years.

While Melone said the company is on pace to deliver the smartphones by the end of the second quarter, it appears Verizon Wireless had expected its devices to hit the market earlier. Droid Life reported receiving new flyers at Verizon Wireless homes advertising that the HTC ThunderBolt was now available.

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