LTE Phones Still Promised For 1st Half Of The Year
Verizon CTO Tony Melone made a statement at Credit Suisse's Convergence conference this week about the carriers progress on working through their 4G LTE roll-out. Their first LTE device the HTC Thunderbolt was supposed to be released weeks ago and there have been countless rumors about the reason for the holdup and release date after release date have come and passed. He stated that they were perhaps too ambitious with their schedule for LTE handsets but still remains committed to the timeline given at CES for a first half of the year roll-out.
Verizon's LTE Holdup Response
I guess our expectations change, but we had said first half of this year at CES, quite frankly, we think that exceeded people's expectations. A year ago, people didn't believe that there would be LTE smartphones in 2011. First half of the year is what we promised, first half of the year is still on track. So we don't believe there are any new or surprising issues. I think what we're facing is what you would expect, and that is a new technology, you are working through issues. And we anticipated that, and we are pleased at how we are working through issues. And as I said, you are going to see LTE smartphones on the network as promised, before the first half – before the second half of the year, by the end of the second quarter.
What This Means for LTE And Thunderbolt Hopefuls
Verizon wants to drive the point home that they are sticking to their initial schedule, but they are staying away from admitting they pushed too hard with the initial Thunderbolt release date. It was evident something bigger was going on when Verizon pulled the commercials for the LTE Thunderbolt, something they would not do unless the release was delayed for an extended period of time.
Basically we should see the Thunderbolt by late Spring most likely along with the release of Verizon's other LTE devices the Droid Bionic and LG Revolution. Everyone who was hoping to get the Thunderbolt sooner has to put those plans on hold for now until they are able to work through their network woes. Verizon should still be the first with LTE devices just later than originally planned.
Are you willing to hold out for the Thunderbolt or is this LTE news causing you to second think your upgrade?