With its LTE rollout complete, Verizon Wireless is now looking to bring 4G to the home with a new LTE broadband router, but it isn't likely to have a broad appeal.
The Novatel Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: NVTL)-built Verizon 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice, announced Wednesday, is designed to replace the home phone and power home WiFi for up to 10 devices over LTE. Verizon Wireless is offering the router with three plans to choose from: a $20 for voice only, $20 for data only, or $30 for voice and data. The device costs $30 when purchased with a voice and data plan or $50 with a single-service plan, both on a two-year contract.
Here's the catch though: To use a router plan, you must also be on one of Verizon's Share Everything plans. That means the router is dipping from the same data bucket as your smartphone, tablet, or any other devices you have connected. As such you'll hit the data cap pretty quickly. (See Verizon: One Data Bucket to Rule Them All.)
Verizon is targeting the device at small businesses and those customers that may travel and want to take it with them for connectivity on the go. The router also has three Ethernet ports and a backup battery, so that it will work during power outages.
Why this matters
Verizon is on the hunt for new connections for its now-complete LTE rollout. Replicating in-home broadband is a somewhat surprising choice given that its Verizon arm offers FiOS broadband and TV, but given the limits of the LTE router, there likely won't be much risk of cannibalization.
Now that Verizon has total ownership of Verizon Wireless, the company is likely to explore more integration between its various services. Adding home LTE use to the bundle is one step, albeit small, in that direction.
- Verizon Completes LTE Rollout, Turns to VoLTE
- Vodafone Agrees to $130B Verizon Stake Sale
- CTIA: Verizon Pushes for Single-Mode LTE
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading