Verizon, DirecTV Testing LTE Home Broadband
Verizon Wireless and DirecTV are quietly testing an in-home broadband and video service near Erie, Pa. They are looking to pair Verizon’s new 4G LTE broadband with DirecTV broadcast satellite content.
By bundling the two services, Verizon and DirecTV could effectively compete with cable companies outside Verizon’s traditional FiOS service footprint. According to media reports, the two companies may expand the trial in 2011.
The homes in the trial are equipped with a rooftop radio antenna to connect to Verizon’s LTE network and a satellite dish to receive DirecTV’s video services. The customer also will receive a wireless router to connect to the 4G broadband network. DirecTV will install wiring in the homes which will be utilized for both services.
There are still many unknowns. For instance, presumably the rooftop antenna will enhance network coverage, however Verizon’s network is brand new and we have yet to see how well it performs. Pricing for the DirecTV/Verizon LTE bundle also is unknown at this time. No word yet on whether this offering will be extended to rural carriers that participate in Verizon’s LTE in Rural America program.
The test was reported Thursday by Investor’s Business Daily after BroadbandReports had previously speculated that Verizon and DirecTV were collaborating on an LTE bundled service. A DirecTV spokesman confirmed the test is being conducted near Erie, Pa. A Verizon Wireless representative declined to comment.