The days of LTE-only smartphones may be upon us, at least for Verizon Wireless, anyway. That’s according to Verizon’s CFO Fran Shammo, who said as much at Deutsche Bank’s Media Internet and Telecom conference today. Shammo’s statements were made available via a transcript available on Verizon’s website. When asked by a Deutsche Bank analyst where he saw subsidized phones heading, Shammo said that he believed the trend will soon see prices heading downward.
The reason for that, Shammo said, is two-fold. The first and most intriguing reason is that Verizon may soon begin cutting out CDMA radios from its smartphones and offering LTE-only handsets. This would be made possible thanks to Verizon’s upcoming voice over LTE rollout, which is expected to happen toward the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.
With voice over LTE smartphone users would no longer have their voice data transmitted over Verizon’s 2G or 3G networks, which, in addition to providing improved voice quality, will also allow Verizon to ditch the CDMA radios that use those networks in new phones. The less radios a phone requires, the less they will cost. That savings, Shammo said, will be passed on to consumers.
The second factor that could lower subsidies for Verizon consumers is increased competition in the smartphone space thanks to Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10. “I am a true believer as these operating systems start to really take hold, and I think the Windows one will, I think Blackberry will come back into the market, then you are going to start to see more competition which leads to lower prices,” he said.