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Verizon Partner Vodafone States 4G Upgrade Intent:; Where Does That Leave CDMA?

September 22, 2007

Kelly Hill of RCR Wireless News reports that according to separate remarks by company executives, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Group plc are planning to move to Long Term Evolution technology as the 4G evolution path for their respectives networks. 

Both Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone, and Verizon Communications Inc. chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, spoke about 4G  at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference Wednesday. Each company is partners in the Verizon Wireless Joint Venture (Verizon 55%; Vodafone, 45%).

But despite the partnership, there are potential wireless standards-based conflicts ahead- especially if Vodafone pushes LTE really hard.

To that end, Hill notes that Sarin laid out a path toward LTE evolution within the next three to four years. Vodafone relies on GSM- and HSPA-based technology for wireless high-speed data access in its properties abroad, while Verizon Wireless—45% owned by Vodafone—is a CDMA operator whose most recent network upgrade has been to EV-DO Revision A.

So where does this leave CDMA Rev. C (Ultra Mobile Broadband), and for that matter, EV-DO in Verizon's future upgrades?

"The news marks a serious setback for CDMA backers, as Verizon Wireless is one of the world’s largest supporters of the technology," Hill writes. "Indeed, the news puts Ultra Mobile Broadband—which is Rev. C on the CDMA network-upgrade path—into question, as no operator has yet publicly voiced intentions to move toward the technology."




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