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)