"Game Changer" - 4G LTE wireless network
Verizon takes the lead in whats being called the "Game Changer" 4G LTE wireless network.
Biz Break: Verizon vs. AT&T: Is faster 4G network a 'game changer'?
By Frank Michael Russell
Posted: 12/13/2010 01:32:12 PM PSTUpdated: 12/13/2010 03:44:00 PM PST
Today: An analyst says the Apple and Android platforms will benefit from faster 4G wireless networks. Plus: Sunnyvale-based Dionex agrees to a $2.1 billion buyout. And: Dell, Cisco, Netflix, Silicon Valley stocks.
Smartphone, data wars
Verizon Wireless' faster 4G LTE network is a "game changer" that will step up competition in the wireless industry, Gleacher & Co. analyst Mark McKechnie wrote today in a note to clients.
McKechnie based his conclusion in part on a test of Verizon's 4G LTE data card last week here in the Bay Area. While acknowledging that "our study was not scientific," he described the Verizon network as "lightning fast" with upload speeds of 7 to 15
megabytes per second and download speeds of 11 to 22 Mbps -- "both of which were faster than our own wired network."
"We see dramatically better data performance on the Verizon network and look for a competitive response from other U.S. players," McKechnie wrote.
Those other U.S. players, of course, include with AT&T Wireless, (for now) the nation's exclusive carrier for Apple's iPhone.
McKechnie said he expects Verizon's move to 4G for heavy data users is intended to clear 3G network capacity ahead of a Verizon iPhone launch. (In this scenario, a 3G Verizon iPhone would be ready early next year, followed by a combined 3G/4G model at some point in the future pending the availability of chips from Qualcomm.)
"We still view the two major ecosystems -- Apple and Android -- as the leaders in tablets and smartphones" and "as strong ecosystems will take advantage of the improved capabilities and adapt to 4G with a breadth of products," McKechnie wrote.
Battling for third place, he noted, will be Research In Motion's BlackBerry family, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, Nokia and Hewlett-Packard's recently acquired Palm/webOS platform.