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Verizon shares 4G updates

Seducing manufacturers with network promises

Verizon has published updated specifications for its 4G network, in the hope that this time there will be some applications by the time it deploys the technology.

The updates include data-retry systems and SMS requirements, for those interested in creating applications or devices to take advantage of Verizon's forthcoming LTE deployment at 700MHz. The first LTE networks are only just stumbling to their feet in Sweden and Norway, but those are operating at 2.6GHz, so won't be interoperable with the kit Verizon needs for its network.

Verizon's promise to cover 95 per cent of the US population by 2013 is certainly aggressive; it has to be if manufacturers are going to start making compatible devices, but at least the operator recognises that 3G never delivered what it had promised.

When UMTS - the 3G technology deployed by GSM adherents - was developed, operators thought they could charge by the application used, and that video calling would be the killer application: customer research was minimal and third-party application developers weren't invited. Verizon wants everyone involved this time, in the hope of finding some decent applications for all this bandwidth.

LTE isn't just about more bandwidth though, it's also about low latency and enormous flexibility. Verizon reckons that makes LTE ideal for machine-to-machine communications, and is keen to share the specifications with anyone interested in developing some connected machines.

Verizon will be presenting the latest specification at the end of January, but the documents are already available though its development portal. ®

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