Verizon calls for 4G "innovation"; announces $10M award

Verizon CEO calls for 4G “innovation”; announces $10M award

09 JAN 2013

LIVE FROM CES 2013: Verizon Communications’ CEO Lowell McAdam used his keynote at CES this evening to position the operator’s almost-completed 4G-LTE network as a platform for positive social change.

McAdam noted that the US number-one’s 4G network had just gone live back at CES 2011, a time he said when the average US mobile network was only managing 1 Mb/s downloads.

“What a difference two years makes. At the end of this year we will finish our [4G] build-out while speeds are in the 10-12 Mb/s phase,” he said.

The network currently covers 273 million people, representing about 89 percent of the US population. Verizon Wireless is considered to be the world’s largest 4G mobile operator by subscribers.

McAdam described the new network as the “foundation for innovation across the industry,” outlining opportunities in areas such as M2M, healthcare and entertainment.

In order to “jumpstart” such innovation, McAdam unveiled details of a new Verizon initiative called ‘Powerful Answers’ – a $10 million prize fund designed to award innovative ideas in the healthcare, education and sustainability sectors able to exploit Verizon’s 4G capabilities.

“We will then help bring these ideas to market,” McAdam said. The winners will be announced at CES next year.

McAdam was joined on stage by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who talked about opportunites in delivering content over 4G networks; and later by Ford’s CTO Paul Mascarenas to discuss collaboration on the car-maker’s connected Sync platform.