Verizon Wireless launched LTE on Dec. 5 in 38 metropolitan markets and 60 commercial airports, covering more than 100 million Americans and offering average download speeds (even when fully loaded) of 5Mb/s-12Mb/s and average uplink speeds of 2Mb/s-5Mb/s. These speeds are an estimated 10 times faster than Verizon’s 3G network. Verizon Wireless leveraged its 700MHz spectrum for LTE deployment; Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent are its primary network vendors that are providing the infrastructure for the mobile broadband network.
The Tier One carrier is offering two data plans: a 5GB monthly allowance for $50 or a 10GB monthly allowance for $80. Customers will receive text messages when they approach their limit, and both plans offer an extra 1GB for $10. Currently, Verizon Wireless’ 3G data plan offers 5GB for $60.
The first device on the market is LG’s $99 USB modem, the LG VL600, for laptop connectivity. Also expected to hit the market is another $99 USB from Pantech. Both USB devices come with a two-year deal and are backward-compatible with Verizon Wireless’ 3G network so if a user leaves an LTE area, he will immediately be connected with the 3G network. LTE smart phones are expected by mid-2011; more information will be revealed at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011. The company reiterated its plan to expand 4G LTE to its entire 3G network coverage area by 2013. Verizon Wireless customers can check here to see if they live in an area that will be covered by 4G LTE in the first wave of its installation.
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