Speaking from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Verizon executive Dick Lynch said that the company’s efforts to launch its 4G network are going according to plan.
Right now, Verizon is in what it calls “Phase 4” of its tests of the LTE technology which will be used to power the 4G network. “Within 60 days,” the company expects the tests in Boston and Seattle to be complete, at which point Verizon will announce further parts of its rollout strategy.
This means that Verizon’s previously stated plans to get 4G out to around 30 commercial US markets before the end of 2010 are still on track.
But don’t think that means you’ll have 4G on your phone right away. As of now, Verizon is planning to initially make 4G data available only to users of USB devices to receive mobile data on a laptop. LTE phones won’t be available until after that, so probably not until 2011.
The holdoff on LTE phones may be partially because Verizon has not yet been able to get voice working over LTE. Right now, any 4G phone on Verizon (assuming you could get one) would have LTE for data, but it would use the company’s older CDMA networks for voice.