Verizon’s Proud Papa of LTE: Take a Bow, Dick Lynch

January 7, 2011

LAS VEGAS — Since we met up with former Verizon Chief Technology Officer Dick Lynch while just walking through the Venetian Casino hallways Thursday it doesn’t technically count as an official interview. But even though it meant being rude enough to interrupt Mr. Lynch’s attempt to escape the CES hubbub for a quick cup of frozen yogurt, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask the man behind Verizon’s LTE plan how it finally felt to have devices and a network to announce.

“A lot of people didn’t think we would have devices and a network like this before 2012, and here we are,” said Lynch, who didn’t mind our interruption too much. Now in charge of some unspecified project inside Verizon (Sidecut Reports: “What are you doing now?” Dick Lynch: “Something I can’t tell you about.”) Lynch said he was most proud of having a dedicated team who did the necessary heavy lifting and partners who did their best to meet Verizon’s aggressive deadlines.

“It was all about balancing extreme optimism and a big dose of reality,” Lynch said of the LTE launch effort. Getting the device and infrastructure partners to deliver on schedule was a delicate dance, he said, one tempered with the knowledge that developing, testing and perfecting complex wireless devices for a brand new networking technology isn’t always easy or straightforward.

“You have to know that when partners tell you something will be ready in November, that means January,” Lynch said.

But now, with an LTE network publicly launched and a slew of advanced devices on the way, Lynch can afford to take a break and enjoy a moment of calm, even beyond a trade-show frozen yogurt break. “It was a lot of hard work, but I’m proud of what we accomplished,” he said.


We Watch Verizon’s LTE Video

May 11, 2010

Does this count as the start of Verizon’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) market hype? We were notified by Verizon folks today of the existence of a YouTube video that they claimed was “recapping some user ‘tastes’ of the 4G LTE network we’re building now.”

If you must watch we will link to the video below — but you could save yourself some time and just read our following report. We never really see a screen in motion, save for one take of a Speedtest.net test in action — and you will note that the LTE speed recorded is a download figure of 8.55 Mbps, which is fast but certainly nowhere near the 50 Mbps figure that Verizon likes to talk about.

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Verizon’s Lynch: LTE Going Live in Q4

April 15, 2010

Verizon chief technical officer Dick Lynch is an excited guy, and why not: Thursday he helped announce the groundbreaking for a new Long Term Evolution (LTE) Innovation center in the Boston area, while also confirming that the company is still on track to launch LTE services in 25 to 30 markets, sometime in the last three months of 2010.

In a quick phone conversation from the innovation center launch festivities in Waltham, Mass., Lynch said that Verizon’s LTE testing in Boston and Seattle is now complete, and that the company will test systems with friendly users (usually company employees and other partners) during the third quarter of 2010. “In the fourth quarter, we’ll be turning on [commercial] markets as planned,” Lynch said, confirming that the stated goal of 25 to 30 markets covering a population of 100 million people is still the target Verizon intends to hit. To our knowledge, this is the first time Verizon has publicly stated exactly when LTE services might be available.

The innovation center, a 60,000-square foot three-story planned addition to Verizon’s existing facilities in Waltham, will help Verizon help potential LTE startups, Lynch said, by allowing them to learn and collaborate with Verizon’s telecom engineers and software experts.

“When you look at the capabilities of LTE, there are a lot of non-traditional applications and devices that might want to be part of the network,” Lynch said. The innovation center, he said, could “be a catalyst to help people who have never been in the [wireless] business.”

The innovation center (artist rendering below) is expected to be completed in 2011, according to Verizon. For interested application and device developers, it might be a good place to go to learn some tips and tricks about wireless networking, like how to write your application so it doesn’t completely drain the wireless network, a problem that AT&T had with some Apple iPhone uses.

(Artist image of planned LTE Innovation Center; credit: Verizon Wireless)