BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless, the nation’s leading wireless provider, announced today the creation of the 4G Venture Forum (4GVF), a new initiative which uniquely brings together financial investment, product incubation and market validation for products and services that will harness fourth generation (4G) wireless networks. The 4GVF is a collaboration of Verizon Wireless; highly-regarded venture funds including Alcatel-Lucent Ventures, Charles River Partners, New Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and Redpoint Ventures to facilitate the identification and commercialization of next-generation 4G related technologies; and both Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the primary network infrastructure providers for Verizon Wireless’ upcoming 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.
This initiative further accelerates Verizon Wireless’ open and innovative approach encompassed by the Verizon Developer Community (VDC), its open development program and the Verizon LTE Innovation Center.
From the wireless sector of the high-tech industry, Verizon Wireless, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson will contribute expertise in building advanced wireless networks and provide programmatic input critical to concept success. 4GVF participants have identified up to $1.3 billion as available for 4GVF development; participating venture capital firms have more than $9 billion under management today. Other business details are not being disclosed.
The 4GVF was formed to help generate new ideas related to advanced wireless networks and help innovative companies improve the odds for their success. The reach and breadth of 4GVF partners will help ideas get to market quickly with members working collaboratively to:
- fund new ideas;
- provide vital development assistance; and
- validate the market and test concepts through labs and communities from Verizon, such as the Verizon LTE Innovation Center, the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) and the VDC, as well as similar resources from Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.
Verizon Wireless’ philosophy driving its 4G focus includes a strong belief that the winners in the 4G world will be those companies that focus on their core competencies and facilitate and embrace collaboration and partnering.
Roger Gurnani, senior vice president of product development at Verizon Wireless, said, “Our initial focus has been to design and build the best 4G wireless network in the nation. We also recognize a need to infuse developers with the funding that will drive advancements, and we are committed to doing this in a collaborative way. The 4GVF is focused on encouraging innovation and leveraging applications in this new 4G wireless future. The 4GVF will help ensure that we’re not simply building the network and waiting for people to come, but that applications are ready to go when the infrastructure is ready.”
The 4GVF may support and fund 4G advancements regardless of underlying network technology; funded entities will not be contractually obligated to work with Verizon Wireless and are not precluded from working with other wireless service providers. The 4GVF will host regular meetings to review opportunities, evaluate ideas, get reactions from stakeholders, and build collective insight on where the market is heading.
Verizon Wireless is focused on building the most reliable next-generation 4G LTE wireless network in the country – and one of the first on the globe – and its ongoing commitment to building the best networks in the country is essential as the company rolls out its 4G LTE network. Verizon Wireless plans to launch its 4G LTE network in 25 to 30 markets in 2010 and cover virtually its entire current nationwide 3G footprint with the next-generation network by the end of 2013.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving 87.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 87,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
Kathy Egan Wummer
for Charles River Ventures
781-916-9090 ext. 802
for New Venture Partners
North Bridge Venture Partners
Norwest Venture Partners (NVP)
for Redpoint Ventures