Verizon Says 4G LTE Requirement a “Long Way Off”

It’s been reported that Verizon is going to require LTE (4G) capability on all of its new smartphones and tablets from now on. TMO investigated, and our findings contradict that report.

First of all, the idea makes no sense because it would tie Verizon’s hands. But never mind that. TMO spoke to several Verizon wireless representatives at CES and asked them the question. The response was, first, they haven’t seen any corporate information to that effect. Or any imposed deadlines. Secondly, they said that while the goal is to have all of its customers on LTE, “that’s a long way off.”

One spokesperson said that the price of 4G chips is too expensive for feature phones, but of course that leaves smartphones and tablets. But the clincher, from another spokesperson, was that Verizon still has a 3G smartphone planned, a BlackBerry model that’s 3G only.

While it is possible that Verizon has some secret plans, all we can go on right now is what Verizon told TMO in person. As a result, for yet others to use that report about a mandated LTE for Verizon phones from now on to prove that the iPhone 5 must have LTE (even though we think it will) remains speculation.