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Verizon 4G Service

Verizon announced 4G wireless service in 38 large cities by the end of this year covering 100M people with plans to more than double this in 2011. 4G is great technology which will radically change communications, but 4G's adoption rate will be determined primarily by the carriers’ business models.

2G brought us digital voice and text messaging. 3G brought us smart phones with web browsing and a ton of applications. 4G will enable business applications that used to require a wired network to be mobile, provide quality web and video conferencing, and further enable unified communications across multiple channels. The fact that it also uses the 700Mhz spectrum should provide better in-building coverage and chew up less battery power.

Some of my questions for Verizon are:

1. How will Verizon charge for the service? If voice is VoIP and just data packets, is my bill just based on data usage? A tiered usage model?

2. Will Verizon provide a pure IP based service with QoS so that I can run any voice client on my cell phone (Skype) and choose any type of codec that I like? I really like wide-band audio and would love for my next generation cell phone to sound better than my existing hard phone. If the quality is the same as my 3G phone, I probably will not be an early adopter.

3. Will Verizon use IPv6 addresses for its end devices? If so, how does end to end QoS, NAT, Security,... work for devices that are on IPv4 networks?

4. Will Verizon support Femto cells on its initial deployment? I would rather not have to go back and forth between Wi-Fi, and if I can get great coverage at home, with good quality, at a fixed rate, then I will give up my land line.

5. When will the iPhone be 4G capable? I saw the announcement about Apple making a 3G CDMA iPhone. Should I sell AT&T stock short or will Verizon become so overwhelmed with users and demand for wireless bandwidth that it will experience the same problems that AT&T had?

6. How effective will roaming between 3G & 4G be? If I am on a video call, will the video drop? How about roaming between 4G and WiFi?

7. Will Verizon allow businesses to directly peer with its wireless network so businesses can communicate directly with end devices and not be restricted by the IXCs and the least common denominator in voice, video, and other communication?

Yes, I have more questions, but let's start with these. As an end consumer, I would love to just pay for IP bandwidth and not have any restrictions on what applications or devices I am allowed to use. As a business Telecom manager, if Verizon enabled a quality phone service at a competitive rate, I may stop giving the standard office worker a desktop phone. Verizon wants a good return on their 4G investment, which may determine how restrictive they are on what applications (phone clients) and devices can be used. What is the right balance?