Verizon Wireless CTO Wants Lower 3G/4G Prices [Broadband Reports]

In an interview with Unstrung, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone says it's in Verizon's best interests to migrate to LTE wireless broadband as soon as possible. In an interesting bit of candor for a Verizon exec, Melone also proclaims that "pricing is inhibiting the growth of this market." "Quite frankly, this is likely to change even before LTE," he says. How much? Who knows. But it's nice to see Verizon recognize their own high 3G prices.

As for fourth generation LTE technology, Verizon currently plans to launch a few trial LTE markets later this year. After that, the carrier plans to deploy LTE to roughly thirty markets by the end of 2010, and then hit most major markets by the end of 2014. Adoption would obviously be helped by friendlier pricing.

According to the latest data from ComScore, 3G data card use grew at a rate of 163% in 2008. Still, the fourth quarter of last year started to see a significant decline in user growth, something ComScore blames on the struggling economy. Many consumers still see 3G wireless data as a luxury item -- and can't quite justify the $60 (plus fees) for 5GB worth of usage that's the industry standard.
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by Ben Pike