Verizon CTO: Working Through 4G Device Rollout Problematic, But Still Committed to First Half of 2011


Looks like we just got an indirect “reason” from the horse’s mouth. Verizon’s chief technology officer Tony Malone – speaking at Credit Suisse’s Convergence conference – kind of spilled the beans about why the HTC Thunderbolt has faced so many delays.

He didn’t mention the phone by name, but he says they have always been committed to bringing devices out before the second half of this year. He’s right: you can’t really blame Verizon for the amount of time it’s taking them to deploy their first 4G phone when they didn’t give a definite release date to begin with.

The technology they want to deploy is so far ahead of its time, it seems, as Verizon could have even waited well beyond this year to announce plans to carry LTE devices. They are the only major network with a 4G network of its kind.

Unfortunately for them, the industry’s “4G” crave has blown up into an uncontrollable monster and we all know you can’t sleep in this game. Their hand was forced and they’re doing the best they can. I have no qualms with that, and neither should anyone else. [via Droid-Life]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

We’re Hiring: Android & iPhone Developer [Part-Time/Full-Time]

Previous article

Which Android Tablet is Right for You? [AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVES]

Next article

You may also like


  1. T-Mobile is their only REAL “4G” competition and as long as they can keep milking their “coming soon” perception then they’ve got nothin to worry about. It would still grab more attention than the EVO 2 if it came out at the same time. This is of course due to VZW’s awesome marketing.

  2. I like Phandroid, it’s my first blog of choice for Android phones.

    But Quentin dropped the ball on this one; I ‘blame’ Verizon for saying “coming sooner than expected”. I ‘blame’ Verizon for allowing a PARTNER (Best Buy) to continue running sales ads for the last 3 WEEKS, and allowing them to take pre-orders for a phone that Verizon had no idea would be available.

    I can absolutely blame Verizon. It comes off as second rate business practices.

  3. LOL! Tmobile is neither real 4G, nor competition.

  4. I even saw TV ads for this thing. Verizon really lost its touch lately.

  5. Well, I agree, LTE is ahead of it’s time, but when you say you can’t blame Verizon for the uproar, I disagree. Verizon aired commercials and allowed customer to pre-order the Thunderbolt at Best Buy. They also allowed Best Buy to announce a retail exclusive with the Bolt. And they allowed HTC to air a commercial for the Bolt. So they lead everyone to believe that it would be released sometime in Feb. Yeah, they didn’t make a statement with those words, but they did show it through their actions.

  6. If you’re not going to have 4G, at least have a top notch phone. AT&T wins so far with Atrix

  7. The forums are going to erupt all the fanboys who wanted the thunderolt were bitching and moaning for weeks now they have to wait til summer. hahah good thing im not due for an upgrade until july hopefully they have things worked out by then.

  8. Where you get “summer” from?

  9. I agree that Verizon is to blame. Verizon is to blame… let me say it again! VERIZON IS TO BLAME! At this point, I could give a shit about their LTE. I just want what I pay for when I buy a smartphone. The Thunderbolt will already be an old device by the time they take the dust off of it from their shelves and then sell it to me AS NEW! They devalued the only decent phone coming and have held us hostage to iPhone and Apple devices and lother older generation devices. I think Verizon has had more class action suits against them than any other provider and they could care less – they laugh and laugh all the way to the bank.

  10. Atrix 4G speeds have been reported on the forums to be the same as 3G. Sprint has 4G wimax and supposedly Tmobile’s newest form of HSPA+ is pretty fast as well.

  11. Verizon:
    1) Stop advertising the phone
    2) Don’t allow Best Buy to promote it
    3) Grow a pair

  12. There is not a “true” 4g out there yet. Not one. HSPA+ and WiMax is slow compared to LTE. However, LTE is still not 4g. Peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility such as mobile access and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access, according to the ITU requirements.

  13. so i’m guessing AT&T’s 4G LTE network based on the exact same technology as VZW’s network doesn’t count as “real” 4G?

    i’m a noob and have no idea why, could some one explain to me please?

  14. Honestly I give up I am going to stick with my Blackberry Storm 1 forever. It is the biggest POS ever but it is in my hands.

  15. @williamsck1….You are correct, 4g means 100 MB/S for wireless devices, however, let’s be real, we won’t see those kids of speeds for a decade or two. So what should they call LTE? It’s much better than 3g. My biggest complaint is that every carrier claims to have 4g, but most of them don’t have speeds over 2MB/s. It can be very confusing to the uneducated customer.

  16. OK, so this is a 4 paragraph article that basically amounts to Verizon saying, “Soon.”

    And yes they can be blamed as their advertisments are plastered all over, ruling the air so to speak.

  17. @ #1 pimpstrong, why are there always people like you that bring up how great t mobiles 4G is? It’s barely faster than 3G and it is 3G. There is no real 4G competition cus no one has 4G(aka doesn’t exist). Misinformation that keeps getting posted is keeping me amazed.

  18. @ Sum(1) – AT&T’s 4G LTE network isn’t available yet. Their current “4G” is HSPA+ which is basically just a maximized 3G GSM network.

  19. Being Verizons first real 4G phone, you know it’s bound to be full of bugs even after it’s released. Why would anybody buy this phone when they could wait a couple of months and go with a dual core device with better features all around. I think the thunderbolt is over hyped and Verizon is doing this on purpose in order to sell more of them. Aside from the front facing camera, Big Red already has high end phones that can easily compete with this one. Wait for a dual core or be stuck with an outdated phone the day after it comes out.
    Thunderbolt for the fail!

  20. @ William. You obviously haven’t done your homework. They lowered the 4G requirements which in turn enabled the top 3 carriers to boast 4G when it’s not true 4G. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait on 5G to get true 4G speeds. That’s big business for ya.

  21. Why can’t the phone be released with the claim “4G upgradable”–Xoom anyone?

  22. @ toast
    Wait out the thunderbolt and get the dual cores?? Why?? Quad cores are coming out at the end of the year. Nvidia said it themself that they’re releasing quad core later this year

  23. Good point ak!

  24. @a.k.
    I am waiting for there to more cores then blades on my razor.

  25. and liquid cooled…

  26. I’m not convinced that the Bionic will be THAT much faster than the Thunderbolt. How long will it be until Android even supports Dual Core? Right now it won’t do you much good at all. Plus HTC sense is just so much better than MOTOBLUR, and we know that HTC will have an unlocked bootloader, I bet Moto keeps their bootloader locked.

  27. @ToastNJam – actually, they didn’t lower the standards, they merely admitted that the term “4G” was not defined and could be used… and in turn called what they had previously labelled as “4G” as simply IMT-Advanced… admitting that 4G could be used to label the forerunners of the IMT-Advanced techs that reach the requirements, including LTE and WiMax in their current forms, and the advanced 3G systems such as HSPA+.

  28. The thing I don’t understand is Metro PCS had no problem with LTE, and Verizon does. One word…”Apple.”

  29. Just like i always stated verizon great at 2 things OVER CHARING PEOPLE…. and FALSE ADVERTISING… Who cares about the THUNDERBOLT it isn’t the best device on it’s own network… LTE just another way VERIZON gets to rip off with… CASE CLOSED ON THESE GUYS AND THE THUNDERBOLT now maybe we can get BEST BUY THE MESSAGE so they can STOP ADVERTISING THE DOOMED DEVICE… Pull down all advertisments

  30. Then there’s the whole issue of the tiered data plan…

  31. We all no who the biggest and baddest is. Att is king bit#* es!!

  32. Kb24, Android is based on the dalvic vm. Which is based upon Java. They both are multi-threaded and use multi-core systems.

  33. The Thunderbolt may not have everything, but to me, it has the perfect form factor and that means a lot. Also, Verizon’s superior network means that I’m stuck with them. If it had a bigger battery and duel core, it would be perfect. The bionic and revolution won’t be out for a while, and they have plenty of limitations too. The tbolt has already been rooted and should see great dev support. @yardell, you’re a retard. The evo is a great phone on a network that is cheap and pretty decent, but doesn’t work for a lot of people. The tbolt is a clear upgrade. What is your problem? Enjoy what you have and stop with the caps and the idiotic criticism.

  34. @kb25

    Both google and motorola have stated the software is not currently able to FULLY support the dual core, however, motorola feels they will have made the necessecary adjustments and tweaks to fully utilize the dual cores by the time the phone comes out.

  35. You people and your HSPA+ is not 4G rants.. Your told (sold) that LTE is going to be better. This is yet to be seen.. and we shall see how available it really is when (if) they launch the 1st phone. Do you really expect that everywhere you got 3G with Verizon your going to get LTE ? That may eventually happen, but I have a feeling it is going to be quite a while before Verizon could make a truthful claim of having a larger LTE coverage, than AT&T and their HSPA+ .. but time will tell.. and keep telling yourself that it’s “more 4G” than HSPA+ if it makes you feel better.. but what will matter is real world use.

  36. @dennis…LTE IS BETTER. You losers that have AT&T, tmobile and sprint, you do NOT have 4G speeds so sit down and be quiet. How in the hell do you think you have 4G when one day your carrier claims to have 4G speeds??? Impossible. Verizon has told us that LTE will not even be close to nationwide until 2013. At least we know that big red is actually working towards incredibly fast speeds and didn’t acquire them over night. SO how did your carrier just magically get it nationwide? Please…

  37. It’s hard to hear people complain about Verizon LTE over the sound of HD netflix movies over Sprint Wimax which I’ve been enjoying since September 2010…

  38. @PimpStrong….You have to be CRAZY…Verizon milking this ”COMING SOON CRAP means nothing to nobody who has desire for this device on there network…And it is NO WAY that this device will be better than THE UPCOMING HTC EVO3D NO WAY POSSBLE…Truthfully the THUNDERBOLT is currently OUTDATED and will be USELESS COME MAY OR JUNE…Verizon is a joke…and so is there 4gh lineup of devices…Droid Bionic????GIVE ME A BREAK

  39. @Zephyr…You have to be KIDDING ME…I’ve enjoyed my device to the FULLEST ON THE BEST NETWORK THAT HAS BEEN GREAT FOR ME..Your overall thoughts and opinions MEAN NOTHING TO NOBODY NUT YOURSELF…You know as well as i do that all verizon is great for is OVERCHARGING AND BELIEVING THEY ARE SETTING SOME KIND OF INDUSTRY TREND. Your pretty much DRINKING verizon kool aide just as much as i drink sprint kool aide so what’s the difference I think what i think and you think what you think LIFE GOES ON..Keep your highly EXPENSIVE FLASE ADVERTISING NETWORK ALL YOU WANT….BOZO

  40. Verizon is probably waiting to release the Thunderbolt and Bionic until LTE is live and active, or they wouldn’t be able to charge everyone a (possible) additional monthly fee for LTE service. If the phone was released and LTE wasn’t active, Verizon would have a bunch of phones that are LTE capable, that they were not collecting montly LTE revenue for…

    Its too bad that Sprint and AT&T’s coverage is so bad, or I would go with one of those two carriers. Verizon just seems like a giant corporate criminal.

  41. The Thunderbolt was supposed to stand alone. It was supposed to be a game changer… It’s supposed to be the the phone AFTER your dream phone.

    NOW…. it’s going to come out at the same time as other ‘dream’ phones. It is no longer what they said it was. Time to re-look. The ‘false hype’ is not the fault of bloggers. The phone was supposed to come out by itself. It did not. It will not. The sometimes there sometimes not commercials did nothing but reenforce the notion of ambiguity around this device. A device that was supposed ot be CLEARLY and CRISPLY the best thing you could ever dream of.

  42. Verizon again showing what they do best- screw customers..

  43. I have no qualms whatsoever with vzw wanting their LTE network to work well. However, what I take MAJOR issue with is the fact that they knew, and said nothing until now. Even more infuriating; they are STILL advertising the TBolt; I just watched a commercial for it (a vzw commerial at that) running around 6pm EST on Monday, March 8 for the Thunderbolt. I paid close attention to this – it didn’t say “coming soon” it simply said “exclusively at Verizon”. This wasn’t the first time, I’ve seen this in the past few days. When it did air, I’d try to log in to my Verizon account to see if the TBolt was there, only to find the server bogged down; likely with people like me who were trying to see of it has been released. The only reason I wanted a TBolt was because according to vzw’s LTE coverage map, I’m right in the middle of it, and if vzw violated the contract by switching to tiered data, then I get out of my contract early because the android phone is the primary line on a 6-line family plan (yes, six, not five). If there are problems with the LTE network, and the bloggers hyped up LTE, it is STILL Verizon’s fault for leading us to believe via advertising that this was coming out in days or weeks, not months. I’m off-contract right now and would love to jump ship, but no one else has the widespread coverage that I need, unfortunately. I’ll be interested to see if the SprinTmo merger happens and if it improves their overall coverage. Vzw screwed the pooch on this. They should release the TBolt anyway, I can’t imagine that its LTE only, although at this point, I don’t care anymore. I’ll wait for an LTE device with a qwerty and an unlocked bootloader. It’s ashame that Moto started locking their bootloaders, I would’ve looked forward to the bionic, but if it has a locked bootloader, I don’t care if it has 16 cores and a TMJ-RAM memory system – I don’t want it.

  44. @guest0511
    To people who don’t know any better, all technology seems to be magic.. So yeah, it’s magic.. LTE and HSPA+ are different approaches to achieving the same goal.. more speed. One approach requires modifying existing technology, the other replacing it.. One company decided that modifying their existing tech, would give them time to build the new tech and still give their customers speed NOW.. It doesn’t matter if it’s new, what you call it, or if it is done with voodoo if the bits come in faster.. LTE hasn’t been used in the real world yet. HSPA+ is on par and better than the previous “accepted” 4G that is WiMax.. As has been stated over and over and over and over, none of these meet the original goal of 4G .. but it gives people a label to identify phones that have a different level of speed.. And it doesn’t matter to me how that’s done.. if dead chickens hanging from Cell towers get me the same speed as Wimax, then dead chicken technology is just as much 4G as anybody else.

  45. * LTE (Verizon) has the most capability for speed at lower prices. It is a new technology and has the potential to achieve DSL speeds with less capital investment for the carrier. LTE is a true 4G technology. However, the technology is not proven on a large scale.

    * Wimax (Sprint) newer technology and truly a 4G technology. It is a little older than LTE but still has strong speeds at lower cost than 3G. It is not as fast as LTE and it is more expensive than LTE to deploy.

    * 4G for AT&T and T-Mobile. They are using multiple 3G pipes to achieve faster speeds. They are using 3G technology and bonding the “pipes” together. They can achieve faster speeds today without deploying a true 4G network. Eventially they will run into capacity problems with the older 3G technology. Both T-Mobile and AT&T will be foreced to upgrade their systems to a true 4G network.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News