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October 4, 2009

Verizon creates 4G Venture Forum

Initiative to generate new ideas related to advanced wireless networks

By CBR Staff Writer

Verizon Wireless has also created 4G Venture Forum (4GVF), a new initiative which 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; 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 commercialisation of 4G related technologies; and both Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the primary network infrastructure providers for Verizon Wireless’ upcoming 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.

The 4GVF was formed to help generate new ideas related to advanced wireless networks. The initiative aims 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, and similar resources from Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.

4GVF participants have identified up to $1.3 billion as available for 4GVF development, while participating venture capital firms have around $9 billion under management. Other business details are not being disclosed.

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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 recognise 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 company said that 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 plans to launch its 4G LTE network in 25 to 30 markets in 2010 and cover virtually its entire current 3G footprint with the 4G network by the end of 2013.

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