In a day and age where the spectrum we use for our smartphones is becoming more and more strained, it does not come as a surprise that carriers are now asking OEMs to only provide LTE enabled devices. We have recently seen rumors that the BlackBerry Colt was scrapped because it did not have a LTE enabled chipset, and the recent discussion that Jessica Dolcourt from CNET had with Verizon gives validation to these rumors.
Keith Lampron, Verizon’s associate director of device marketing, was the one to talk to CNET and he made it very clear that Big Red is looking at LTE as the future and that they only want to smartphones that will adhere to their vision. There are of course some exceptions, like the push-to-talk phones that only operate on the 3G network at this time. With BlackBerry 10 devices being pushed back to later in 2012, this should provide RIM enough time to ensure that the LTE chipset they intend on using will make Verizon happy.
I am sure that will continue to see carriers move towards this hard-nosed stance on new devices having to be LTE enabled. The fact is that there is only so much 3G spectrum to go around.