April 1, 2009
Verizon Wireless announced that it's establishing the Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass. The facility will help developers create and bring to market new products for use with Verizon's 4G Long Term Evolution network.
Announced Wednesday at CTIA Wireless 2009, the center will feature a lab for product testing and development with simulated home and business environments. Verizon said network infrastructure companies Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson will support the center as it tests devices that will operate on Verizon's LTE network, which is scheduled to begin rolling out late this year and early next year. "We are building the Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center to be an incubator where imagination will be the only barrier to designing incredible new wireless products and services," said Roger Gurnani, Verizon Wireless' senior VP of product development, in a statement. "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." Verizon Wireless, which has the largest cell phone subscriber base in the United States, will focus on three broad product areas in the center: consumer electronics and appliances; machine-to-machine products in health care, security, and utility metering; and telematics, which combines computing and telecommunications activities. Along with Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, Verizon will assist a wide assortment of companies seeking to develop products for use on the Verizon LTE network. Verizon Wireless, which is 55% owned by Verizon Communications and 45% owned by Vodafone Group, expects many products will be tested and prototyped at the center by companies and developers, some of which are likely to be first-time developers of products for a wireless network. "The Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center will be solely focused on helping Verizon Wireless technology partners quickly develop and bring to market new and innovative LTE-based solutions," said Gurnani. Brian Higgins, a 14-year Verizon Wireless veteran with expertise in product development, has been named to head the center as executive director. "My team will be focused on working through a simple question with our device and application partners: If we gave you the ability to wirelessly network anything, what would you do?" said Higgins. Verizon Wireless indicated the first round of products for its LTE network will likely be faster versions of existing 3G products like PC cards and smartphones. Later products and services are likely to give users the capability of moving their home and office applications into the mobile universe. Products for rural areas and international roaming are also likely to be examined at the center.
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