Verizon Wireless, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent Establish LTE Innovation Center
Wireless service providers that develop their own mobile devices and applications have an advantage over competitors that use third party apps and out-of-the-box devices because 1) they can make a higher profit selling them to a consumer base that is increasingly hungry for mobile apps and devices and 2) they get to exercise control over which devices and applications run on their network. In this regard a provider can develop devices and applications that work best with its mix of technology, so as to optimize the customer experience. What’s more they can develop devices and apps optimized for the network, and can avoid obscene network complexity.
As such, Verizon Wireless
-- along with partners Ericsson
-- is establishing the Verizon (News
) Wireless LTE Innovation Center to foster the development of new devices and applications for its upcoming fourth generation, long-term evolution (LTE) network. The announcement was made during the CTIA Wireless (News
) show held in Las Vegas last week.
Initially the innovation center, which will be based in Waltham, Mass., will be focused on three product areas: 1) consumer electronics and appliances; 2) machine-to-machine (M-2-M) products in the areas of healthcare, security and utility metering; and 3) telematics.
LTE holds great promise for mobile communications in that it facilitates true device-to-device connectivity. Unlike today’s 3G (UMTS) networks, an LTE network can potentially connect a full range of consumer electronics devices and machines directly to each other, thus opening up endless new possibilities for what one can accomplish with a mobile device.
Not only will Verizon Wireless’ LTE network deliver significantly faster e-mail and Internet access, it will also delivers better quality video and multimedia services. What’s more the next generation of devices that will be connected to this LTE networks will be more like PCs than phones, as opposed to today’s devices, which are arguably more like phones than PCs. Thus, Verizon’s advanced LTE-based wireless network will give subscribers the ability to take home or office applications into the mobile world.
Roger Gurnani, senior vice president of product development for Verizon Wireless, said in a release
that the new innovation center will be “an incubator where imagination will be the only barrier to designing incredible new wireless products and services.”
“With support from two of the most important wireless infrastructure companies on the globe, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent (News
), we expect to provide innovative companies with the tools they require to launch a whole new generation of wireless consumer and business products and services,” he said.
The new center will include 4G infrastructure, provided by Ericsson (News
) and Alcatel-Lucent, upon which new LTE-based devices and applications will be tested. Developers will be able to use the center to cover all the early stages of product development, from concept validation to usability studies to product design analysis to prototyping to lab and field trials.
In addition to providing commercial-grade hardware and software for prototyping, testing and validation, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent will also provide resources to help manage the lab and work through any service integration and hand-off design issues that may arise during the testing process.
Verizon claims that there is a “wide array of companies” in its partner network which already have prototype LTE-based products in the works – they just need further development and testing.
Once a product is ready to be brought to market, Verizon Wireless will help the developer quickly access the most appropriate sales channels.
“We’re at the onset of the LTE revolution, and the Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center will set the standard for product development and help us lead the way toward near-ubiquitous global wireless broadband connectivity and mobility,” Gurnani said.
“The Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center will help create an ecosystem to explore the full potential of the LTE mobile broadband experience and its value to consumers and business customers,” said Angel Ruiz (News
), chief executive officer and president of Ericsson North America, in the release. “Ericsson is proud to be part of this unique collaboration to bring together leading wireless technology, device and application innovators to help create future opportunities with LTE, the emerging global mobile technology.”
“By fostering an environment uniting companies, Verizon Wireless is helping build a strong ecosystem aimed at effectively innovating, removing business and technical barriers, and defining new models to accelerate mass adoption of new services and devices,” added Ken Wirth, vice president of sales for Alcatel-Lucent. “As a founding partner of the Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center, Alcatel-Lucent is building on our proven success in developing open-device networks that will help bring whole new classes of services to market.”
In related news, Verizon Wireless has named Brian Higgins, a 14-year veteran with significant technology planning and product development experience with the company, as executive director of the Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center.Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Higgins said his team will be focused on working through a simple question with Verizon Wireless’ device and application partners: “If we gave you the ability to wirelessly network anything, what would you do?”
Edited by Patrick Barnard