Verizon Wireless has confirmed that its 4G phones will not work on other US LTE networks, according to a report from PC Mag.
Executive director of corporate communications Brenda Raney expalined that the incompatibility was due to the phones operating on different frequencies, dashing the hopes of those who may wish to have switched from Verizon to AT&T’s forthcoming LTE service.
Like Verizon, AT&T will be using the 700MHz frequencies for LTE but Verizon is using 746-787MHz, while AT&T is using 704-746MHz. This sub-band specificity will mean that the devices will remain incompatible.
Phone calls will also be an issue as while Verizon using CDMA for 2G and 3G, AT&T is GSM/HSPA based. Verizon plans to launch Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in 2012, while MetroPCS, the first US operator to launch LTE, is planning VoLTE trials for later in 2011.
While incompatibilities between handsets are frustrating to consumers, it is to be expected that network operators will look to protect the exclusivity of their handsets. Apple has two models of iPhone available, one each for AT&T and Verizon.
Earlier this week Verizon launched the LTE Innovation Center, a collaboration programme for designers by which Verizon hopes to grow the LTE eco-system through innovative new LTE connected products.