LAS VEGAS--When asked if he was concerned about the Sprint Clearwire WiMAX venture, Verizon president and COO Denny Strigl told press conference attendees that concern was a word beyond what he felt in regards to WiMAX. While Verizon wants to stay aware of what its competition is doing, the operator is happy sticking with its 3G strategy for now.
“Clearwire WiMAX is much further out than we see today,” Strigl said at a NXTComm08 press conference. “Our plan is to offer high-speed in-home access and move with EV-DO wireless…The [WiMAX] issue will be bigger in four to five years out.”
Verizon is committed to supporting long-term evolution (LTE), but for now is banking on its EV-DO Rev. A to match, or exceed, the speed of any mobile service that Clearwire could offer. Verizon’s 3G network has national coverage and an established ecosystem of devices that WiMAX has yet to match. LTE, although not expected to be commercial before 2010, is expected to have 32 million subscribers by 2013, according to a report published by ABI Research last week.
Accelerating the WiMAX/LTE battle, Sprint CEO and President Dan Hesse announced today that its WiMAX joint venture with Clearwire would launch commercially in Baltimore in September, to be followed by trial markets Washington D.C. and Chicago later in the year. Countering this news on the fixed broadband side, Strigl announced Verizon will expand its 50 Mb/s broadband offering to all FiOS fiber-to-the-home customers beginning next year. Strigl said that Verizon has no strategies outside of FiOS and plans to improve its speeds with DSL, which it will continue to enhance.