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1/13/2011
08:16 PM
Kurt Marko
Kurt Marko
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Verizon iPhone, Can You Still Hear Me Now?

By now everyone knows that Big Red is finally getting the iPhone, but as a happy DroidX user and long-time (15+ year) Verizon customer, I greet this with mixed emotions. Obviously the iPhone 4 is probably the slickest, most elegant app phone out, although not so much that I'm going to rush out, pay the full-freight unsubsidized price and ditch my six-month old Droid. Really, I'm happy Verizon and Apple have come to terms and look forward to an LTE iPhone 5 later this year (or whenever LTE comes

By now everyone knows that Big Red is finally getting the iPhone, but as a happy DroidX user and long-time (15+ year) Verizon customer, I greet this with mixed emotions. Obviously the iPhone 4 is probably the slickest, most elegant app phone out, although not so much that I'm going to rush out, pay the full-freight unsubsidized price and ditch my six-month old Droid. Really, I'm happy Verizon and Apple have come to terms and look forward to an LTE iPhone 5 later this year (or whenever LTE comes to my hometown). No, my concern is for Verizon's network.I know that Verizon sees their network as a strategic advantage, their crown jewels, and think the iPhone is the opportunity to really let it shine, but do they really think there won't be any discernible performance degradation when millions of iPhone-wielding media hogs start streaming YouTube? I know that Big Red has had a couple years to learn from AT&T's mistakes and according to analysts has increased backhaul capacity (from cell towers to their fiber backbone) more than anyone. But AT&T overbuilt their capacity 3-4x in preparation for the iPhone and it clearly wasn't enough. There are already surveys showing between 15-20% of AT&T users are going to switch, but is the devil they don't know any better than the one they do?

No doubt, Verizon's data network is going to get hammered, but maybe CDMA is better able to maintain voice quality during times of peak data load. I know that the iPhone won't allow simultaneous voice and data access, i.e. no downloading email while on a phone call, and maybe this will translate into better voice quality. After all, to many of us, voice is still the highest priority for our phones. I'll kvetch if my Twitter feed's a little slow, but really get upset if my phone starts dropping calls.

Maybe Verizon's network really is that good. We'll see, but I hope AT&T doesn't get the last laugh. T-Mobile anyone?

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