Verizon has completed initial technical trials for its 4G LTE network, according to a conference call for hardware partners. The company will now begin its next phase, "friendly user trials," which will expand to five different cities.
The LTE network was recently demonstrated in a YouTube video, with download speeds ranging from 5-12Mbps and upload speeds from 2-5Mbps. Optimum data speeds appear to be competitive with other 4G technology, such as WiMAX, although the typical performance remains unclear.
Verizon has yet to disclose which cities have been added to the 4G testing, following earlier trials in Boston and Seattle. The company is also remaining quiet regarding the details of its "friendly" users, although the testers are expected to be select Verizon employees or other companies involved in the projects.
Despite the recent completion of technical trials, Verizon suggests that it is still on track to meet its earlier promise of formal 4G deployment in 25-30 markets by the end of the year. If the forecast is accurate, the company will have a significant lead over competitors such as AT&T. Executives claim the 4G coverage map should be comparable to the current 3G coverage by 2013.