Mobile

Verizon's network ready for Apple's iPhone thanks to Android

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Thanks to its success with Android phones, Verizon is prepared for the onslaught of new subscribers that Apple’s iPhone would bring, the Wall Street Journal reports.

After the launch of the Motorola Droid last fall, Verizon has quickly become the premiere U.S. carrier for high-end Android smartphones. The experience has taught the company how to deal with data hungry smartphone users.

Verizon’s Android users consume more data than typical iPhone users, according to data by Validas, a company that helps users manage their monthly cellphone bills. On average, non-BlackBerry Verizon smartphone users — 70 percent of which are Android users — consume about 485 megabytes of data monthly. iPhone users, on the other hand, use about 344 megabytes per month.

Verizon had around 9 million Android subscribers at the end of September, said Majestic Research senior analyst Matthew Goodman. He estimates that AT&T had around 16.5 million iPhone customers at the same time.

Verizon is testing and adding capacity to its network and is in talks with Apple to help prepare for the iPhone’s arrival, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The paper reported last week that Verizon was gearing up to offer the iPhone in 2011.

In an interview with the WSJ last week, Verizon Wireless CTO, Tony Melone, boasted about the company’s network: “The Android experience gives me confidence we can engineer a great data network. … We are planning for growth. We build capacity, cushion and contingency.”

Verizon is working hard to avoid the sort of reception issues AT&T is seeing in cities like New York and San Francisco. Next year is going to be doubly difficult for the carrier if it gets the iPhone. Not only will that device bring in a slew of new subscribers, but Google’s Android operating system will also continue to grow.

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