The long wait is finally over. Verizon Wireless just revealed the details regarding their next-generation 4G (LTE) network at a press event earlier today. Starting on December 5th, the new high-speed wireless network will be available in 38 major cities and over 60 airports. Verizon claims that their new 4G LTE speeds are over 10x faster than their existing 3G network. Also at the press conference was the introduction of two new 4G-enabled USB modems. Unfortunately, no smartphones will offer access to the new high-speed network until mid-2011. (Expect demos and early prototypes at CES 2011 in January.)
For those looking to get onto the new network immediately, the LG VL600 and the Pantech ML290 will be available soon. Each will cost $99 after signing a new two-year contract and sending in a $50 mail-in-rebate. Pricing for 4G LTE Mobile broadband will start at $50 for 5GB of monthly bandwidth. A 10GB plan is also available for $80 a month. As for overage, Verizon charges an extra $10 per gigabyte. Those in a 4G-enabled area will have download speeds ranging from 5-12 Mbps and upload speeds ranging from 2-5 Mbps. The two USB dongles support falling back to 3G networks when 4G signal isn’t available.
“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.” – Dan Mead, President and CEO of Verizon Wireless
Prospective customers can visit verizonwireless.com/4Glte to check if their address is in the 4G LTE coverage area. Flagship metropolitan areas such as New York City and San Francisco will have high-speed coverage unlike Sprint’s 4G WiMax network. Starting on December 5th, a street-specific map will also be available, offering detailed coverage information. Since we are in the San Jose area, which will have coverage, we will try to get our hands on a unit and publish some preliminary speed reports soon.