VTel Wireless Update and FAQ
What has VTel been doing since the announcement of the Rural Utilities Service award?
VTel is pleased to report that we are on track to meet the federal timeline to launch the WOW 4G/LTE network by the middle of 2015 with many sites ready for deployment in the coming months. In the first year of the grant announcement, we finalized the details of the contract with our federal funding entity. In the second year, VTel conducted a rigorous process to select a vendor for the Wireless Open World project, whereby Ericsson, a world leader in telecommunications equipment, was chosen as VTelâ€™s technology partner. In the second year, we also completed the design of the network and selected the majority of nearly 200 wireless sites that make up the VTel network.
In October 2012, VTel completed installation of the wireless core in Springfield, Vermont. The core is critical in managing the traffic between wireless sites and the internet. It facilitates how the customer will experiences VTel Wireless and functions as the brains of the entire network.
VTelâ€™s current focus is site acquisition. Many of the sites needed to launch VTelâ€™s Wireless network are at various stages of site acquisition and permitting. In some areas across the state, sites will come on board simultaneously. We are excited to launch our first wireless site very soon.
Tell me about VTelâ€™s 4G/LTE mobile broadband wireless network.
VTel was awarded federal stimulus funds in 2010 to build a statewide 4G/LTE wireless broadband network. It will serve almost every home in underserved and unserved areas throughout Vermont. These funds, combined with VTel capital, will enable us to further implement our longstanding VTel mission: world class technology with down home service.
The VTel 4G/LTE mobile broadband wireless network will be state-of-the-art, and the greenest rural wireless network available. Carbon footprints for all installations will be minimized because new 4G/LTE wireless equipment is less than half the size of earlier equipment.
General evidence around America is that 4G/LTE wireless broadband technology is offering speeds superior to prior expectations. Vermonters should be very pleased with the service that VTel will deliver.
The network is deeply and fully integrated into VTel's fiber-to-the-home project based in Springfield, and into VTel's 1,400 mile optical fiber network throughout Vermont and to New York and Boston.
What speeds will be available with VTelâ€™s 4G/LTE wireless broadband service?
VTel Wireless signal quality for wireless service near fixed network locations will permit an average of 25 Mbps in both down and upload speeds with the potential for peak rates up to 50 Mbps. There are no assurances in wireless, because so many models are based on assumptions. For example, we have had to assume tree heights: in some cases our Radio Frequency models will underestimate interference; in other cases, our model will overestimate interference.
The peak rate VTel Wireless will deliver is hard to predict, but many 4G/LTE wireless users are experiencing data rates of 5-10 Mbps; we expect to be able to provide much more as noted above.
When will service be available in my town?
The VTel 4G/LTE wireless network expects to be deployed in beta communities by fall 2013. At the beginning of April 2013, VTel lauched its first wireless site for testing in Springfield, Vermont and expects sites to come on board statewide, simultaneously, staggered throughout 2013, ongoing through the middle of 2015.
How much will service cost?
VTel has always been known to offer world class products and services at the best prices - and our Wireless services will be no exception. We can't predict rates until service is closer to statewide launch, but we are competing against giants and recognize that price is key. We also recognize that entering a market with a new product requires competitive pricing.
Why did VTel choose Ericsson as the technology partner?
Ericsson was placed as a leader in LTE Network Infrastructure in 2011 by Gartner, Inc., the worldâ€™s leading information technology research and advisory company. The leaders quadrant holds industry providers whose current execution of service Â is excellent, and whose vision is on par to continue as the best in the future.
Ericsson is the undisputed leader in development and standardization of LTE and offers end-to-end networks with superior performance when it comes to stability, throughput, and latency â€“ the most important key factors for end-users of LTE. Ericsson has had the highest impact on the released LTE specification and expects to hold 25 percent of all essential patents in LTE.
Is the VTel Wireless Network intended to be used for voice on cell phones?
The current focus of the VTel Wireless network is to provide high speed broadband Internet to areas in Vermont that are underserved and unserved. We are fully focused on providing service to these areas by December 2013. Future technology developments may allow Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) calls; however we are committed at this time to expanding broadband Internet access to Vermontâ€™s most underserved and unserved areas.
Will I need an antenna to receive VTelâ€™s 4G/LTE Wireless service?
About half of our audience will likely get service with embedded devices, laptop dongles, and home wireless routers inside the home, with less than half needing an external antenna.
What is LTE and what does it do for me?
LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the global standard for the fourth generation of mobile networks (4G) supported by all major players in the industry. LTE offers the capacity and the speed to handle a rapid increase in data traffic. According to latest market data traffic report, there will be five billion mobile broadband subscriptions in 2017. The same report estimates that 50% of the worldâ€™s population will have LTE coverage in 2017.
Currently, 89 LTE operators have launched commercial services, nine of these are LTE-TDD deployments and the rest is LTE-FDD. 280 operators have publicly committed to the technology across 90 different countries with a large number of LTE trials currently in operation. Today, 455 million people have access to commercial LTE networks. (Data from GSA July, 2012 and Ericsson internal).
LTE Services will enhance your VTel connection in the following areas:
Performance and capacity â€“ One of the requirements of LTE is to provide downlink peak rates of at least 100Mbps. The technology allows for speeds of more than 300Mbps and Ericsson has already demonstrated the next step of LTE at the Mobile World Congress 2010 with theoretical peak rates up to 1.2Gbps.
Simplicity â€“ LTE supports flexible carrier bandwidths, from 1.4MHz up to 20MHz. LTE also supports frequency division duplexing (FDD) and time division duplexing (TDD).
Latency â€“ The user plane latency achieved in LTE is less than in existing 3G technologies, providing a direct service advantage for highly immersive and interactive application environments, such as multiplayer gaming and rich multimedia communications.
Wide range of terminals â€“ In addition to LTE dongles and mobile phones, many computers and consumer electronic devices such as notebooks, ultra-portables, gaming devices and cameras will incorporate embedded LTE modules.
I am a member of a planning commission, Chamber of Commerce, or community group, and I would like to host a VTel presentation in my town.