The service, called HomeFusion Broadband and introduced Tuesday, requires the installation of an antenna to the side of a home that transmits LTE signals to a broadband router inside. Verizon says the router can connect up to four wired and at least 20 wireless devices inside the home via Wi-Fi. As with Verizon's traditional LTE service, HomeFusion Broadband promises downlink speeds of 5Mbit/s to 12Mbit/s and uplinks in the range of 2Mbit/s to 5Mbit/s.
HomeFusion will launch later this month in Dallas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Birmingham, Ala. The tiered service starts at $60 per month for 10GB of data, in addition to a one-time $200 equipment fee. A Verizon spokeswoman says the service will be available nationwide later in the year, but is best suited for single family dwellings or multi-dwelling units with up to three floors.
Why this matters
For now, HomeFusion is only targeted at those homes that don't have another option, but the fast speeds of LTE could make it an attractive replacement for any home only served by slower DSL speeds. Verizon may not, however, be looking to completely replace DSL with LTE, as the carrier has warned it might run short on LTE spectrum in some markets -- albeit mainly urban ones -- by 2013. (See Will Verizon Abandon DSL for Mobile Broadband? and Verizon Fears 4G Spectrum Shortfall .)
Verizon has been trialing a rural LTE service similar to HomeFusion with DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) for the past year, but a Verizon spokeswoman says the new offering is strictly a Verizon LTE network offering. It will, however, likely catch the attention of independent cable operators looking for a partner in rural areas, as well as be a cause for concern for satellite providers that may have previously been the only high-speed Internet option for rural households. (See DirecTV Preps Broadband Boxes, Flirts With LTE and ViaSat to Phase Out WildBlue .)
Read up on Verizon's LTE deployment below.
- Verizon: LTE Is Back
- T-Mob, MetroPCS Try to Block Verizon-MSO Deal
- Mapping LTE: AT&T & Verizon's 4G Footprints
- Verizon LTE Gets Spoofed
- Verizon Plots 5 New LTE Markets