Verizon will offer 4G later this year

Americian telco Verizon says that it is ready to offer the next generation of mobile broadband this year.

Dick Lynch, an executive vice president and CTO for Verizon Communications, said during a press conference that Verizon Wireless is on track to launch its commercial LTE (long-term evolution) service this year.

Verizon Wireless is in the final testing phase, or “Phase 4,” of its LTE technology and within 60 days he said he expects testing to be completed in Boston and Seattle. After those trials are complete, Verizon will be ready to announce commercial deployments.

Verizon has said previously that it will launch the service in 25 to 30 markets throughout the US by the end of 2010 using the 700 MHz spectrum.

The plan is to offer USB air cards that access LTE for its laptop customers. Mobile phones and other mobile devices with embedded LTE will be appear a bit later.

However Lynch now says that LTE handsets will be introduced sooner than anyone had anticipated. While using data on LTE networks has been a technological doddle, voice is proving challenging to get to work.

Until a solution is complete, Verizon will use its CDMA network to provide voice services and LTE network will be used for data.

Verizon will also have to integrate EV-DO into its LTE system to ensure that customers can switch to the 3G EV-DO network when the 4G LTE network is not available.