Verizon prepares for iPhone and the massive traffic Apple’s revolutionary device would bring

Apple Online Store“There’s no telling yet whether or when AT&T might lose its position as the sole U.S. carrier of the Apple iPhone,” Spencer E. Ante reports for BusinessWeek. “But in the event Apple opts to partner with other mobile-phone service providers, Verizon Wireless says it’s up to the task.”

“Verizon Wireless has even made upgrades that would make its network more capable of handling extra traffic that would be generated by the iPhone, Verizon Wireless Chief Technology Officer Anthony Melone says in an interview,” Ante reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, yeah? Did you replace your outlier CDMA with GSM, so at least we can talk and surf the Web at the same time like we can on AT&T?

Ante continues, “‘We have put things in place already,’ Melone tells Bloomberg BusinessWeek. ‘We are prepared to support that traffic.’ …Melone says his company’s equipment would do a better job catering to the heavy data demands of iPhone customers. ‘Absolutely, I think we could handle it,’ he says.”

“Melone didn’t address the prospect of landing a deal to carry the iPhone, though Verizon Wireless officials have in the past said they occasionally discuss partnerships with Apple executives,” Ante reports. “Earlier this year, the companies were considering releasing iPhone-like devices that would run on the Verizon Wireless network, people familiar with the matter said.”

Ante reports, “In fairness, the iPhone does seem to be imposing exceptional demands on AT&T. In the two years since the iPhone’s debut, data traffic on AT&T’s network has soared 5,000%. By contrast, Melone says Verizon’s traffic has also been growing rapidly but at a slower pace. When asked to specify the growth rate, Melone said that over the last three years Verizon’s traffic has grown as high as 1,000% year over year. But he declined to provide more details. Even so, Melone says the company is ready for the deluge should Verizon Wireless land a deal with Apple for the iPhone. ‘We will handle it if we ever get it,’ says Melone.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s all very easy for Verizon to say before the fact and knowing that they’ll never have to face the full brunt of iPhone’s U.S. traffic demands as has AT&T Mobility.


  1. Yup, Verizon is ready alright. The number of their own getting the iPhone less the new ones would really spike them well past 1000 percent a year. They would get that in a two week period. Let us see how they are after two years. Oh, Blackberry will be hurting once Verizon start to sale the iPhone.

    I thinks!

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  2. Verizon: “‘We will handle it if we ever get it,’

    If as previously purported: “One device is a smaller, less expensive calling device described by a person who has seen it as an “iPhone lite.” The other is a media pad that would let users listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos, the person says. It would place calls over a Wi-Fi connection.”

  3. Even if they were to somehow get Apple to forgive them for their recent trash talking, and get the iPhone on their network, they will never feel the full impact that ATT has as the first, exclusive carrier, to support it.

  4. “Melone says his company’s equipment would do a better job catering to the heavy data demands of iPhone customers. ‘Absolutely, I think we could handle it,’ he says.””

    ‘Absolutely, I think…’ boy that broods optimism in your “There’s a Map for That”! Nice job Verizon idiot!

  5. The stampede away from ATT would be massive if Verizon or any other carrier got the iPhone. ATT’s network is so pathetic that they are easily one of the worst carriers, ANYWHERE. Their recent blaming of iPhone customers for their network woes is simply unacceptable.

  6. A new channel card, like the one due at the beginning of the year solves the voice and data at the same time. It also increase capacity 4 fold. I would not be shocked to see them start installing them by march. That makes june just fine. That said, I’m doubting the opening up to verizon.

  7. I want real numbers. not this percent crap mdn is spouting. Exactly how much ‘3G’ traffic was there 3 and a half years ago? How many 3G handset were in the US back then? If it was truely an inpresive number data-wise, I don’t think we would see just a percentage. I choose my carrier by its coverage in my area first, quality of calls second, then cost. If they ever get good in my area, I’ll switch … but not right now. I’ll stick to carrying my ipod.

    word ‘mother’ -> quit crying to mother and fix the darn network.

  8. Verizon preparing for the coming of the iphone is kinda like when I was in High School and I would prepare for Sherry Sachiem to say yes and go out with me of Friday nights.

    It’s fun to dream about, but it’s never gonna happen.

  9. Apple will be ready for LTE, when Verizon is ready – so this will be the beginning of a wonderful new friendship. Of course Apple will support backwards compability with CDMA, because full coverage with LTE is at least 3 years away and the next two years will determin the future of mobile internet. Apple is at a very good position now and wont miss the train to become the number one.

  10. My ONLY condition is the ability to unlock the phone and stick a non-US SIM card in it while I’m overseas (several times a year). Over the past ten years, I have gone through at least 10 GSM phones, most of them free with a new 1-year, or 2-year plan. Each and every one was unlocked immediately after purchase, using instruction that carrier (Omnipoint, Voicestream, T-Mobile, Cingular and AT&T) provided upon my request. Which is why I’m still holding out on the iPhone, since it is the ONLY GSM phone in the US which cannot be officially unlocked upon request to the carrier.

  11. I think it will be forward compatible with cdma. By that I mean, if I was verizon, I would carry cdma on for a solid 5 to 10 years. It works fine for voice and a ton of capacity. Make the data LTE if available, then fall back to cdma if it’s not. That way it also allows time to settle the spec for voice on LTE.

  12. I can’t wait to hear the moaning and b**ching from all these whiners who will migrate to Verizon IF (and that’s a HUGE “if”) the opening ever occurs…..I’m betting within weeks they’ll be back complaining about Verizon. For me, just the difference in customer service has been worth switch. AT&T;customer service has been worlds better than Verizon. As for coverage, (at least here in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach metro area), I’ve seen no difference. I get as many 5 bar spots with AT&T;as I did with Verizon.

  13. @ Mungo:

    And how exactly would you connect to MobileMe? You’re going to need a wireless provider, and Apple isn’t going to build out a network (too much $$) and doesn’t have the licenses to do so (again, too much $$ and not available).

    @ 5000%:

    Let’s see, Verizon went up 1,000% and ATT went up 5,000%. So if Verizon increased 1,000% based on data usage (likely most of which is 3G), then it’s fair to assume that, minus the iPhone, ATT would have increased about the same 1,000%.

    So the iPhone accounts for about a 4,000% increase in ATT’s data traffic since it was introduced. Find any company that is prepared to service a 4,000% increase in customers. Hospitals would clog; airlines would have people stuffed in the cargo holds; McDonald’s would have to start serving sheep burgers. Now add in significant governmental regulations and the difficulty in securing leases for new mobile towers, and you have quite a problem to overcome.

    ATT has its problems, but given a 4,000% increase in demand on its system, has done a pretty good job of handling it. Sure, there are places in the country where ATT doesn’t have good coverage or any at all, just like the other carriers.

    Verizon, and especially Sprint and T-Mobile, wouldn’t have fared any better. Verizon is the only carrier which would have had a reasonable opportunity to handle the load, but we’ll never truly know because Verizon won’t get the iPhone until it moves off of CDMA. Which, if I was Verizon, I’d be working on feverishly day and night so I could get the iPhone, because if ATT gets there first and adds coverage areas, Verizon may never get the iPhone.

  14. Yes, Verizon will move off of CDMA — when LTE rolls out. While GSM does have some features that CDMA doesn’t (like the simultaneous voice/data capability), CDMA is more bandwidth-efficient. However, both are dinosaurs at this point; it would make no sense for Verizon to invest in what is essentially obsolescent technology. I’d be willing to bet a nickel that the first LTE iPhone comes out for Verizon.

    BTW: In technology, do you know how to tell that something is obsolete?

    Answer: You can buy it at retail.

  15. OK, let’s simplify this a bit – 1000% means a factor of 10. But that only has meaning in relation to the starting point. 1MB to 10MB and 1GB to 10GB both represent order of magnitude increases, but they are hardly comparable in terms of data. That’s why iPod sales grew hundreds or thousands of percent in the early years, then leveled off to double or single digits later.

    Also, year-over-year increases compound just like interest. So it makes a big difference if your traffic is doubling each year, or increasing by a factor of 3, 4, or more.


    I have no doubt that Verizon’s network would groan under the load if all of the AT&T data traffic were suddenly shifted over to Verizon, particularly in the metro areas. But that doesn’t mean that AT&T has an excuse when they fail to adequately anticipate and address network capacity and coverage needs. After all, they are glad to sell all of the two year contracts that they can push out the door. Now they need to fulfill their obligation in servicing those contracts.

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