Can LTE-broadcast dam the mobile video deluge?

By multicasting popular content over cellular networks, carriers figure they can conserve valuable 4G capacity. But as consumers use their smartphones and tablets to personalize their multimedia consumption, the ship may have already sailed on multicast’s potential.

Verizon says LTE now touches 89% of the population

Verizon revealed some impressive 4G stats at CES 2013. It’s LTE network is now in 473 markets, covering 273 million people. It will complete its 4G network in mid-2013, just two-and-a-half years after it started.

Today in Mobile

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed this morning that next year the carrier will roll out family data plans, enabling users to pay for data usage on multiple devices from a single account. As my colleague Kevin C. Tofel points out, the move families will be able to share “buckets” of data, just as they’ve long been able to do with voice minutes. That makes a lot of sense as A) more everyday consumers are using mobile data on their phones and B) more of us are using tablets and other connected devices in addition to our phones. So I expect several other carriers to follow Verizon’s lead in short order.

Today in Connected Consumer

Verizon offers a lesson today in how not to knock down a rumor. Yesterday, Reuters had the scoop on Verizon’s plans to launch an IP video service that would compete with Netflix and reach beyond Verizon’s existing FiOS footprint. That was followed this morning by a report from Janney analyst Tony Wible seconding the Reuters story. According to a comment by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam reported this morning by Peter Kafka at AllThingsD, however, the Reuters story and its followups were “all just speculation by people who like to write blogs.” If that’s the case, perhaps McAdam himself should not have been acknowledging in public that the telco was in the hunt to acquire Hulu when it was for sale and that it “continues to look at alternatives” in the OTT space.

McAdam as Verizon COO: More Google, Less Neutrality

Verizon today appointed Lowell McAdam the company’s chief operating officer in preparation for Ivan Seidenberg’s eventual retirement. The news signals a move away from landlines and toward mobile, where it has net neutrality impacts due to the tech bro-mance between McAdam and Google CEO, Eric Schmidt.

Today in Mobile

Mobile is buzzing today with Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s statement that the carrier will offer the Palm Pre (as well as a BlackBerry “cousin”) in the next six months or so. It’s a good move for Verizon, of course, but it’s huge for the Pre: VZW not only is the nation’s largest operator, it has proven it knows how to move smartphones. Sprint is the loser here, as some would-be Pre buyers will surely wait until Verizon rolls out the gadget.