Verizon CTO, Dick Lynch, has named Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as the company’s LTE base station suppliers. Speaking at the MWC event in Barcelona, Lynch added that further LTE trials will take place this summer using the 700MHz frequency band with commercial deployment slated for next year in ’20 to 30 markets in the US’. Verizon Wireless, in coordination with Vodafone, has already been conducting LTE testing for over a year.

Verizon Wireless’ LTE network deployment will be driven by our vision of providing ubiquitous global wireless broadband connectivity and mobility,” said Lynch. “LTE enables us to continue to meet business customer demands for a higher bandwidth, low latency service that works broadly in the United States and globally, while helping us to meet consumer demand for mobilising the many applications they frequently use when tethered to high bandwidth wired networks.”

Verizon’s early commitment to LTE is welcome news for Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as most operators, in the credit crunch era, have reined in capex. Lynch did not reveal, however, how much Verizon would be spending on its ‘4G’ upgrade. But as has been previously reported, Verizon’s total capital expenditures totalled roughly $17bn in 2008 and Lynch said that LTE network costs would be within the company’s overall programme as spending shifts from older technologies to new strategic initiatives, such as LTE. The company expects to maintain commercial service on its 3G service well into the next decade.Another winner in the Verizon LTE plan is Starent Networks, which has been selected as a packet core vendor. In addition, Verizon announced that Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent have been selected as key suppliers for the IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) network, which will enable rich multimedia applications regardless of access technology.

Lynch also announced that Verizon Wireless expects to foster creative solutions connecting people, places and things wirelessly on its LTE network by creating the Verizon LTE Innovation Centre, which will be based in the suburban Boston community of Waltham, Mass. With support from founding partners Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, Lynch said the mission of the Innovation Centre is to be the catalyst for early development of non-traditional products for use on LTE networks. A number of companies have already expressed interest in the Centre, which will be solely focused on helping Verizon Wireless technology partners quickly develop and bring to market new and innovative LTE-based solutions within the consumer electronics, machine-to-machine, and business products segments.