Verizon scheduled a press conference today to announce details on its upcoming LTE network, and now all of the info has finally come to light. On December 5th, Verizon will flip the switch on their 4G LTE network, which will go live in 38 markets and 60 airports. Users will be able to select two different LTE data plans at launch: $50 per month will net you 5GB of LTE goodness, while $80 per month will get you 10GB of data. What will you be using to gobble that data down? Well, customers can choose either the LG VL600 or the Pantech UML290, both of which will cost $99.99 with a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate. Verizon says it expects "consumer-oriented handsets" to be available by the middle of 2011. By 2013, Verizon expects their LTE coverage to match the existing 3G coverage offered. You can check out the full press release below.
I was beginning to wonder when Verizon was going to finally flip the LTE switch, and I'm glad to see that it'll be happening so soon. It's also good to hear that they'll be turning on LTE in all 38 planned markets at once rather than staggering the layout. Interestingly, Verizon's current 3G USB modem plan offers 5GB of data for $59.99 per month, so if you have access to 4G and don't need 10 gigs of data, you could actually save some cash and get faster speeds (if Verizon doesn't change the 3G plan pricing, that is). I'll be interested to see what kind of pricing VZW will have for their LTE-capable phones when they're available, which may be as early as February. We've heard that they'll be offering speed-based data plans similar to what you get with home broadband now, which I think would be a good move. That way, if a user doesn't feel that they need 4G just yet, they can hop on to a (hopefully cheaper) 3G data plan. Things could change over the next few months, though, so be sure to stay tuned!
UPDATE: Just a quick bit of news for those of you that prefer to avoid commitments: Verizon has confirmed that they'll be selling both USB modems sans-contract. You'll be paying $249.99 for the privilege of being contract-free, but the monthly rates remain the same.
VERIZON WIRELESS LAUNCHES THE WORLD’S LARGEST 4G LTE WIRELESS NETWORK ON DEC. 5
Laptop Users Benefit First from Fastest and Most Advanced Wireless Network, Arriving in 38 Major Metropolitan Areas with New Value-Priced 4G Data Plans
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless announced today it is turning on the world’s first large-scale 4G LTE network on Sunday, Dec. 5. Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network will be the fastest and most advanced 4G network in America. Business users will be the first to take advantage of the 4G LTE network with speeds up to 10 times faster than the company’s 3G network.
With the launch, Verizon Wireless is also offering new value-priced 4G LTE Mobile Broadband data plans starting at $50 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance, as well as two new 4G LTE USB modems: the LG VL600 which will be available at launch, and the Pantech UML290, available soon.
Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, said, “Beginning Sunday, Verizon Wireless is making the best network even better. Our initial 4G LTE launch gives customers access to the fastest and most advanced mobile network in America and immediately reaches more than one-third of all Americans, right where they live. That’s just the start. We will quickly expand 4G LTE, and by 2013 will reach the existing Verizon Wireless 3G coverage area.”
Road warriors using laptops will immediately benefit from Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network with super-fast connectivity that’s up to 10 times faster than the company’s current 3G network. The company expects 4G LTE average data rates in real-world, loaded network environments to be 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.
Mead continued, “We are building our 4G LTE network with the same commitment to performance and reliability for which we have long been recognized. Our commitment to superior network performance, combined with broad 4G coverage areas and the strong value of our data plans make 4G LTE Mobile Broadband the best choice for laptop users.”
4G LTE Mobile Broadband Data Plans, Devices and Coverage Areas
Verizon Wireless customers can choose from two 4G LTE Mobile Broadband data plans: $50 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance or $80 monthly access for 10 GB monthly allowance, both with $10/GB overage. For laptop connectivity, two 4G LTE USB modems will be initially available: the LG VL600 is available at launch and the Pantech UML290 will be available soon, each $99.99 after $50 rebate with a new two-year agreement. Both USB modems provide backward-compatibility with Verizon Wireless’ 3G network. If laptop users travel outside of a 4G LTE coverage area, they will automatically stay connected on the company’s 3G network.
The two modems harness the power of the company’s 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network to help enterprise, business and government customers make their workforces more productive, providing super-fast laptop connectivity. Both modems will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, online at www.verizonwireless.com, by phone by calling 1-800 256-4646 and through the company’s business sales channels.
The company expects consumer-oriented handsets will be available by mid-2011.
Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network is initially launching in 38 major metropolitan areas and in more than 60 commercial airports coast to coast – at both airports within the launch areas plus airports in other key cities. Street level coverage area maps will be available online on Dec. 5. Today, customers can go to www.verizonwireless.com/4Glte to check if their addresses will be in the initial 4G LTE coverage area.
Spectrum and Network Partners
By leveraging its 700 MHz spectrum for LTE deployment in the United States, Verizon Wireless is capable of quickly deploying a high-quality wireless broadband network with excellent coverage. Verizon Wireless’ primary 4G LTE network vendors, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, are providing the underlying infrastructure for the 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network.
Visit www.verizonwireless.com/lte for more information about Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network.