Level 3 Communications, Inc. is providing Verizon Wireless with backbone infrastructure and cell-site backhaul solutions to support the telco's rollout of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. That additional capacity will help Verizon handle the growing demand for mobile data, rich media and video on its network.
Verizon Wireless expects 4G LTE average data rates to be 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink, speeds that are expected to encourage much larger use of video applications over mobile networks. Verizon Wireless has announced that consumer and business customers in at least 147 U.S. cities will have access to its 4G network by the end of 2011.
While Verizon has invested heavily in expanding its own network, Level 3's nationwide fiber-optic network will help provide Verizon Wireless with additional network capacity and redundancy that will help the telco deal with the rapidly expanding demand for rich applications and video on smartphones, tablets, laptops and e-readers as it expands its 4G LTE coverage.
"Customers' demand for mobile data is growing exponentially, and we are expanding the reach of our 4G LTE network to ensure we meet that need," said Verizon Wireless Network VP, Nicki Palmer in a statement. "Level 3's technology will help us provide our 4G LTE customers with a mobile experience that is fast, reliable and rich with content."
Level 3 is also helping with cell-site backhaul requirements in a number of rural markets in New England and the Western United States. Level 3 will use its recently launched Tower Access solution that combines connectivity to existing cell towers with a mix of new on-site tower construction and Level 3 sites.