back to article Verizon leads race for (the real) iPhone 4G

The stars are beginning to align for an iPhone that rides on Verizon's upcoming 4G LTE next-gen wireless broadband to appear next year. But until then, don't expect an iPhone to be offered by Verizon. Verizon has "no plans to carry the iPhone in the immediate future," Verizon spokesman John Johnson told Beet.tv at the D: All …

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2 way video conferencing

What the hell? My 2yr old n95 8gb could do that when it was released (about a year before). And i think some other manufacuteres had that already too... I suppose this will be flamed down by fanbois but if 2 way videoconf is a hot thing on a jesusphone then i ll be dammed

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How much did you use it?

That's cool, how much did you use video phone? I haven't seen a phone in the US that offered video calling. If all the other countries are doing it, how come I don't see more of it. I have to guess it simply didn't work? Did you love it?

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So...

Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it didn't exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_N95#N95_NAM_.28N95-3.29

It works just fine. People think the iPhoney was the first for many things, but they are last in almost all of them.

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2 way video conferencing

never used it... useless piece of abillity

heck i wanted a cell with gps and mp3 abbility since i havent used either (granted partly because i needed to go online to use the gps)

Should have gone for a phone half the cost or 1/3 of it oh well

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Boffin

Mobile Phones in the US

Remember a few important points. The iPhone v1 sold so well in the US because the US was a backward market for mobile comms. This isn't necessarily a slight on the US market, it is just a feature of the fact that, of the developed countries, the US is the hardest to do mobile comms in. Japan and Western Europe are much more densely populated, so you have less masts each carrying more dollars of calls/data. The US has some extreme density areas (New York City) and lots of wild open spaces. None of the major technologies worked well in both cases.

After the 3G auctions in the UK, Three (Hutchison) pushed video calling and video calling handsets a lot. Like MMS though it never took off in the way the carriers expected it to. Remember that in the history of mobile phones, unexpected things have taken off, and heavily pushed ideas haven't. SMS wasn't expected to be huge, but it turned out that it was. It has turned out that what is starting to use the bandwidth that 3G provided primarily for video calls is apps and mobile internet. Not MMS or Video Calls. It doesn't mean the handsets didn't support it.

Anyway, in the context of this article, I think the video people are generally referring to is more likely things like youtube etc. Not video calls which I doubt will ever make up a significant percentage of data traffic on the mobile networks.

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Interoperability

For video chat on mobile networks to be all encompassing you would need a standardized highly efficient codec in terms of bandwidth and power requirements on ALL video/cell phones. You then would need for the carriers to 1) have enough bandwidth for widespread use 2) have latency low enough so video chat is usable 3)not rape everyone and bandwidth charges.

I don't see those changing much in the next three years. Five years, maybe. But, once it is done it will be a popular feature for the business types and the horny little teenagers that presently send MMS pics of themselves to each other.

As for video chat becoming more popular when it is possible on the iPhone... You had better believe it. The iPhone is considerably more popular than the N95 or most other high end phones. I personally know MANY people that are holding out on an iPhone for two things... 1) video chat 2) get off of AT&T's network ;)

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Alert

Proof of the impending idiocracy

"I personally know MANY people that are holding out on an iPhone for two things"

I was really doubting this until I saw that you capitalized MANY. Glad 3 people are waiting for a non-AT&T + video-chat iPhone. If those features were what people wanted, they would already be buying phones that have those features. Instead, people are buying a phone that has 1254 Fart applications. Just keep watching the Fuddruckers sign for the spelling changes...

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AT&T, not Apple

I'm in Europe, so am used to excellent service and excellent technology provided by excellent networks wherever I go.

However, I can't help but run with the rumour that the iPhone is hobbled only because AT&T begged Apple to do so, as their Stone Age network couldn't handle stuff like MMS, video calling, tethering etc. - all things phones in Europe and Asia have been doing for the past million years or so. Getting the iPhone onto other networks aids consumers (if I had £1 for every time I've heard an AT&T iPhone user whine online about the service they get, I could retire 50 times over) and it sounds to me like Verizon have the much better infrastructure and can offer a much better package all round.

Seriously, Apple released the original iPhone in Europe without any 3G capabilities whatsoever? My phone from December 2005 was more capable than the original iPhone in terms of data and connectivity (apart from WiFi) and was absolutely dirt cheap in comparison.

Europe was laughing hard when the original iPhone dropped, let me tell you that.

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Try again

AT&T has supported MMS log before the iPhoney was out. It was part of the GSM 99 spec that brought GPRS. Thethering, I have had that feature on AT&T since 2004 or so. Video calling; done that too.

Verizon doesn't have a better infrastructure. AT&T has a larger network and verizon uses a patchwork of various technologies and CDMA (not WCDMA) doesn't really build upon itself. The orginal CDMA was pretty much voice only and data was done through dialing into a USR modem pool. Then you have 1xRTT; which provided 144kbps. Then EV-DO Rev 0 and Rev A. Most people think that EV-DO is 3G but 1xRTT is also considered a 3G technology. So when Verizon talks about a larger 3G network; while true, it is not. EDGE can be considered a 3G technology, but was never marketed that way. So when Verizon talks about their 3G network, they are including 1xRTT which has between 80 and 100kbps. You can get that same speed from EDGE and then some.

Verizon has had capacity issues in the past and they never had a device that was as popular as the iPhoney and customers who used data as intensively as the iPhoney crowd does.

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FAIL

Video calling is a gimmick

I've had 3 phones that have supported video calling, many of my friends and colleagues have had them too, yet the total number of video calls I've ever made is: zero. My currect Legend doesn't support it so I guess I missed the boat on that one.

The things is, video calling was one of these things that we were going to be able to do in...The Future. Only when the future arrived we realised that it wasn't what we actually wanted or needed.

Mobile network 3 launched in 2003 in the UK with much fanfare about video calling (in 2003!) and, AFAIK, one of their early insistences was that phones on their network had to have two cameras and support video calling. This was to be their great new cash cow and they were going to make sure we were all going to be able to use it.

Fast forward seven years and I actually struggled to find any phones from 3 that even support video calling, such was its abject failure in the martketplace. Now that 3G and post-3G networks are the norm, most other providers are the same - very few devices even support two-way video calling, even though the networks nowadays are far better placed to handle it than 3's decidedly patchy 2003 3G effort

So, the experience in the mature markets of Europe and the Far East (I'm guessing at a potential market in the region of 300+ million consumers?) tells us that video calling is pretty much a dead duck, but now were supposed to be getting excited that the iPhone getting a front-facing camera version will revolutionise things? Puh-leeze...

If video calling takes off on iPhone then I guess it will prove one thing: Jobs can sell *anything* to some people, whether they actually want/need it or not, as long as it has that wee Apple logo on a slick enclosure and a premium price attached.

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I recall a colleague got some free video call minutes from 3.

He used to video call his friends then they'd both either (if using a headset) put the phone in their pocket or put the phone up to their ear. I'm sure he isn't the only person to have done that.

So -- we've had video calling for a good few years now and I bet most of the calls are either 30 second demonstrations or the image being transmitted is of the side of the caller's head or similar.

I would guess the only time people have used this "in earnest" is fro the purposes of mutual masturbation.

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He's right

I was going to write something here, but then I realised I couldn't say this any better myself.

I'll just add that I had VC capable phones for about 3 years until recently getting my HTC Desire, and in all that time I only ever used the facility 3 or 4 times, mostly for the novelty because I could, or to show it to someone else, or even just to see if it worked.

It turned out to be shit because the codec was so terrible and the bandwidth so low. Plus, I looked ridiculous walking round with the phone held in front of my face.

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pretty useless

my two previous phones, before my iphone, supported videocalling, as did all my friend's phones. I can't recall ever actually using it though. Nor any real reason i'd rreally want to. It's the same as instant messaging, all computers, well laptops, have webcams and microphones built in now, but how often do you really use it to videochat!

the only time i have ever seen a mobile videocall used, was one of my friends, getting approval from the missus, before buying some expensive clothes.

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Doubtful, and addressing Lance3's bad info

There've been Apple fanbois on howardforums for like the last year or more. News report: "Verizon is not in talks with Apple at this time". Fanboi: "OMFG!!1! They said 'at this time', that means they'll be talking to Apple any second!!!1!!one"

Verizon is not interested in the revenue split Apple has had in the past, and are not going to let a vendor dictate changes to networks, as Apple did with IPhone (they added special equipment or at least software just to handle Visual Voicemail). Furthermore, AT&T uses WCDMA/GSM and Verizon uses CDMA and EVDO, so if AT&T ever gets to rolling out LTE, they'll have LTE in common, but not enough coverage to make it reaonable to have an LTE only phone. An LTE/CDMA/GSM phone is possible but IMHO not terribly likely. The other big GSM provider in the US is T-Mobile, and they do have plans for LTE. Therefore I expect the second vendor to be T-Mobile.

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Regrading Lance3's misinformation:

"Verizon doesn't have a better infrastructure."

Yes they do. Their network holds up better when there's unexpected traffic spikes, it's held up better in cases of hurricanes and other natural disasters, they have more 3G, and fewer dropped calls, compared to AT&T, as well as being larger and having a much much MUCH higher percentage of the network with 3G.

" AT&T has a larger network"

No, it's much smaller. Verizon's was a *little* bigger before Verizon bought Alltel, and Alltel had a HUGE network. Verizon's overall network is several times larger than AT&T's now.

" and verizon uses a patchwork of various technologies and CDMA (not WCDMA) doesn't really build upon itself."

Well, you could say AT&T uses a patchwork, between plain GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA. But in reality, AT&T has EDGE with some HSPA (and a bit HSPA+), Verizon has CDMA and EVDO.

"The orginal CDMA was pretty much voice only and data was done through dialing into a USR modem pool."

As was the original GSM data, both had Circuit Switched Data at 9600-14400 bps.

" Then you have 1xRTT; which provided 144kbps."

Yes, and all the CDMA network supports this now, there's no non-1X areas left.

" Then EV-DO Rev 0 and Rev A. Most people think that EV-DO is 3G but 1xRTT is also considered a 3G technology. So when Verizon talks about a larger 3G network; while true, it is not. EDGE can be considered a 3G technology, but was never marketed that way. So when Verizon talks about their 3G network, they are including 1xRTT which has between 80 and 100kbps. You can get that same speed from EDGE and then some."

Absolutely false. When 1xRTT first came out the CDMA carriers thought of claiming it was 3G but gave up on that like 10 years ago after realizing it technically met the 128kbps requirement of the time, but just wasn't fast enough to hype as 3G. Verizon's 3G network is 3G, it was 100% EVDO Rev A before they bought Alltel; Alltel had a little Rev 0 left, but they were upgrading this to Rev A and it is likely all Rev A again by now. They've got about 5% coverage that is still 1xRTT only (way out in the sticks, likely they could not get 1mbps of backhaul to these sites...) They do not show this coverage on their 3G coverage map since it's not 3G.

A note on speeds -- 1xRTT is 144kbps down, 144kbps up, but 60-80kbps typical. EVDO Rev 0 is 2.4mbps down, 144kbps up; EVDO Rev A is 3.1mbps down, 1.8mbps up. Typical EVDO speed is about 600kbps-1.2mbps, although I've seen well over 2mbps at times. EDGE is 220kbps, although 80-120kbps is more typical (on AT&T's network). HSPA is 1.8, 3.6, or 7.2mbps depending on how up-to-date AT&T has it; people have gotten over 5mbps, but 1-2mbps is more typical.

The people that think the US is backwards networkwise are looking through a blinder of using only GSM phones -- the GSM coverage in the US is not up to par, but this is simply because CDMA is more dominant here. I did not complain about the lack of coverage in Spain and Morocco because my CDMA phone did not work after all. I have been on 1000 mile road trips, on one trip I only had 1X for about 20 miles, on another trip only about 5 miles, with 3G the whole rest of the way. If I'd used GSM, based on the coverage map I would have had about 30 miles *of* 3G with EDGE most of the rest of the way, with a bit of GPRS and "no service" thrown in.

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