May 11, 2011
We will post a report excerpt in the morning — but just wanted to note here that our newest report is now live: The Sidecut Reports Verizon 4G LTE Business Report, May 2011, takes a deep-dive look into the launch of the nation’s newest and fastest wireless broadband network. Price of the report is $9.95 USD. See the ordering page for more details.
To answer a question sure to arise — why are our reports priced the way they are? Simple — we want to make the information as accessible as possible to the widest range of readers. We call it “right-sized, right-priced research” even though the price has creeped up a bit in the past year or so. All the way from $5 to $10. That’s change you can live with, right?
Here’s what you don’t get — no thousand-dollar outlays necessary for a lot of charts, graphs and predictions that don’t mean much. What we are providing is a thorough look at all the details surrounding Verizon’s LTE launch, its devices, markets and strategies — alongside some thoughtful analysis about what this means for the U.S. wireless market and all those people and companies who are part of it. If you need to go on a learning curve about Verizon and LTE, this is the place to start.
Who should purchase the report? Anyone who wants a comprehensive explanation of what exactly Verizon’s 4G LTE network is, why it was launched, what segment of the market it is targeting, and how its technology base and deployment strategy fit in with the overall U.S. wireless market picture. You might be able to find all this information in various other places, but for less than the cost of a ballpark beer and hot dog you can have it all served up in one easy-to-read place. More tomorrow. But you can order it and start reading right now.
April 29, 2011
Though according to Verizon the day-long service outage of its brand-new 4G LTE network is now fixed and to be forgotten, it remains to be seen what the full fallout is over the still-unexplained service interruption, which cut off Verizon 4G customers from their high-speed wireless data connection earlier this week.
Unlike other digital-service concerns like Amazon, which this week issued a very detailed public apology and explanation for its own service outage, Verizon has kept its corporate lips zipped pretty much shut over the LTE outage. Repeated queries to Verizon PR for some details on the outage only resulted in replies like this:
- Our 4G LTE network is up and running. Our network engineers and
vendors quickly identified the issue and solved it.
- Customers using the ThunderBolt have normal service.
- Laptop users with USB modems may need to re-connect to the
network when moving between 3G and 4G. This will continue to improve.
Granted, the LTE outage wasn’t on a business-catastrophe par with the Amazon breakdown — even though Verizon is claiming 565,000 active devices on its LTE network it’s doubtful that any big businesses are betting their entire communications infrastructure on those connections just yet — but the lack of transparency about the outage is hardly confidence-building. And despite several queries Verizon has yet to answer the question about if and when its next 4G smartphone, the Samsung Droid Charge, will launch since its previously scheduled arrival date of April 28 has apparently been pushed back indefinitely.
Another 4G LTE device that is also being delayed — in part due to what Motorola is calling LTE software problems — is the Motorola Droid Bionic, another of the LTE smartphones that Verizon was confidently showing way back at CES in January. Separately, none of these issues would be a very big deal. But with numerous device delays and an unexplained nationwide network crash, the question needs to be asked whether or not Verizon’s new fast network is really solid, or whether it’s still in a sort of beta mode with kinks left to be worked out. At least, that may be the questions users ask when deciding whether or not to sign up for 2-year contracts for a network that might not be there when you need it — and a provider that doesn’t tell you why afterwards.
UPDATE: Andy Abramson, a pro’s pro when it comes to public relations, also thinks Verizon needs to tell more about the outage. So does our old pal Wayne Rash over at eWeek.
March 27, 2011
AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega at CTIA keynote. Credit: Sidecut Reports
Editor’s note: The following is the first in a series of major U.S. market cellular provider “status updates” from the recent CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Fla. First up is Ma Bell, no surprise given the $39 billion headline-grabbing acquisition announcement AT&T made last Sunday.
So Now You Tell Us There’s A Spectrum Crisis?
It was just about a year ago — roughly the time that we put out our Sidecut Report about Clearwire’s spectrum advantage — that AT&T and Verizon participated in a very friendly press call together where they sang the praises of LTE and pooh-poohed any claims that the country’s two biggest cell service providers might be a bit hamstrung when it came to licensed wireless airwaves. Our favorite quote from that call came from AT&T senior VP of architecture Kris Rinne, who forcefully said that Clearwire didn’t have a spectrum advantage over AT&T, which would be able to, y’know, refarm its current cellular airwaves to take care of LTE. No worries, right?
“You need to make sure you count all of our spectrum when you make these comparisons,” Rinne said at the time. Though we openly asked for the chance to count the available spectrum, that plea fell on deaf ears.
Now fast forward to the T-Mobile acquisition announcement and all of a sudden, AT&T has a spectrum crisis. Everyone from top mobile honcho Ralph de la Vega to Chief Technology Officer John Donovan was stopping random strangers in Orlando, even the bike rickshaw guys, to tell them that Hey! We’ve Got a Spectrum Crisis! You’ve got to wonder, what exactly changed between last spring and now? Did AT&T go looking in the spectrum barrel only to find it empty? Or is it some other combination of factors, not the least of which is that by admitting to a spectrum shortage, AT&T can gain more regulatory favor for its market-consolidating purchase?
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