My favorite part of being a freelance writer is interviewing experts. I can find out the deepest technical details from an expert that researching online would take days or even months. A case in point, is that I read in a news story that reason why Verizon Wireless was not providing 4G LTE connections in cars was that you can’t talk and use data at the same time.
From my years writing about wireless, I knew that statement was incorrect but I did not why until I talked to an expert at Qualcomm for Automotive IT News.
First off, I know Verizon Wireless as the major U.S. carrier does not like other carriers gaining market share. I also know that Verizon Wireless bought Hughes Telematics in 2012. Hyundai revealed earlier this year that Verizon Wireless will be providing 4G LTE for the company in the future without setting a date. It has been reported that Verizon will offer data for Toyota and Mercedes-Benz.
Some journalists were stating that Verizon 4G LTE is not deployed in cars because it doesn’t use SIMs. Verizon when its primary network was a CDMA network, only a few years back did not use SIMs. Verizon Wireless does use SIMs, now, which I found out when I talked to Verizon’s Ken Muche during a Verizon Wireless event.
“AT&T, when it built its various networks, allows for the hand off (fall back) from 4G LTE data to 3G data in areas where there is no LTE coverage because it uses the 3GPP global standard.
Verizon Wireless’ slower CDMA network is based on the 3GPP2 standard while its new 4G LTE network uses the 3GPP standard. When Verizon built its new network, it decided its chipsets would not allow the hand off between the two data networks.”
We don’t have to worry about Verizon Wireless not getting into vehicles because it builds out its networks quickly. Car makers are most likely waiting to use Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE until the network is every where that cars go.
Verizon claims on its website that Verizon’s 4G network is 100% LTE and covers over 97% of Americans. AT&T may cover more areas when it drops down to 3G and even 2G.
AT&T claims it covers more than 99% of Americans. AT&T’s 4G LTE network, covering more than 290 million people.
I check an Open Signal Map to find excellent AT&T coverage when it also includes 2G and 3G.
So what can we deduce? At some point Verizon Wireless will offer 4G LTE in vehicles. The only question is, “When?”