According to a Thursday article in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Verizon Wireless' chief technology officer Anthony Melone has informed that the carrier would likely make its 4G wireless handsets available by mid-2011.
Noting that the new timeline for Verizon's 4G mobile devices reflects a six-month-sooner availability than an earlier announcement, the carrier's executive said that Verizon would now likely offer 4G-capable handsets within three to six months after the official launch of its commercial 4G network.
Verizon intends launching its 4G network - officially named Long Term Evolution (LTE) - to customers in almost 30 markets by 2010 end, with a countrywide launch schedule somewhere in 2013. The 4G network will offer wireless broadband speeds of up to five times faster than 3G networks.
Meanwhile, Melone also elaborated that the transition to 4G will be a smooth one - with the initial 4G handsets to be equipped with both a 4G and 3G chipset, rather than one integrated chipset. Such a transition will not only provide backward compatibility of the new devices with the old 3G ones, but will also provide some leeway to Verizon in terms of products' launch.
In addition, detailing more about the 4G-capable mobile handsets, Bill Stone, Verizon's executive director of network strategy, said: "We expect the initial handsets will include CDMA."