The next generation of wireless is coming.
Late last week both AT&T Inc. and Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless announced that they are speeding up their networks and new devices are expected as early as this holiday season.
AT&T said it is planning to triple speeds for home Internet services, and double speeds on its wireless network, while Verizon Wireless said it will be ready with a slew of high-speed phones earlier than it had previously suggested.
The AT&T announcement came at the Reuters Global Technology (News - Alert) Summit in New York on Friday, where company officials said that AT&T would be able to double the speeds of its wireless data services in markets covering more than 250 million people in the fourth quarter, using technology known as HSPA Plus.
AT&T also plans a residential broadband trial in June at speeds of 80 megabits per second (mbps), well above its current limit of 24 mbps and surpassing the 50 mbps service offered by Verizon Communications Inc.
Verizon Wireless will have expanded its Long Term Evolution (LTE (News - Alert)) technology to a potential customer base of 100 million people in 25 to 30 markets including New York City by year’s end.
Verizon officials outlined plans for multiple new devices starting with a selection of tablets to compete with Apple Inc's iPad. The company plans to start selling most of these gadgets, which run on Google (News - Alert) Inc's Android software, in the fourth quarter.
Verizon Wireless is also planning to sell up to five LTE handsets by next May, which is faster than some analysts had expected, with Motorola (News - Alert), HTC Corp, LG and Research In Motion could be front-runners.
Alice Straight is a TMCnet editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Alice Straight