Verizon Promises More Coverage with 4G Than It Now Provides With 3G

Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone, speaking today, promised that Verizon's 4G coverage with the LTE technology would be even wider than current coverage with its familiar CDMA and EVDO network.

Specifically, Melone told reporters:

The licenses we bought in the 700MHz auction cover the whole US... And we plan to roll out LTE throughout the entire country, including places where we don't offer our CDMA cellphone service today.

Because Verizon's LTE (Long Term Evolution) will operate at the 700MHz frequency—as opposed to the 2.5GHz used by the competing Sprint/Clearwire WiMax network—it could possibly have greater range with fewer towers: The lower the hertz, the farther the signal travels under the same power.

However, as some wise nerd commenter from one of Om's 700MHz stories pointed out a couple years back, the tradeoff with lower frequency is that because it travels so far, fewer users can use the exact same chunks of bandwidth, so there's a capacity issue. (Explanatory metaphor: Say you're on a ship and three people fall overboard. Instead of having three shorter ropes to throw to all of them at once—which may not reach—you get one really long rope to throw to each of them, one at a time.)

These are just some things to think about as the great 4G train starts to pick up steam, and the WiMax vs. LTE battle—characterized for no particular reason as Love Boat vs Fantasy Island—heats up. CNet has more from Melone's news conference, so hit the link. [CNet]