Verizon's LTE: What You'll Get
Verizon Wireless could launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) services any day now and has committed to having 38 cities up and running by the end of this year, so, let's look at what this proto-4G service will offer early adopters. (See CTIA 2010: Verizon Ups LTE Launch to 38 Cities.)
Faster downloads Verizon is promising average downloads at speeds between 5 and 12 Mbit/s. This will put Verizon's new network on or near the top of the mobile broadband heap in the US with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) and T-Mobile US Inc. nipping at its heels. (See T-Mobile's HSPA+ Rivals Clearwire, US LTE Speeds.) A better video experience Verizon says that latency in the network will be 30 milliseconds or less, around half that of today's 3G networks. What this will actually mean to users is smoother, less jittery video downloads and easier uploads of photos and other media to social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter Inc.
Dongles, not devices It is well known that the network will launch with modems rather than smartphones. This could soon change, however, as Verizon will be showing off more LTE devices at CES in January and phones could be on the network within months of the launch. (See LTE Devices: Where's the Lust?)
Bigger bills Verizon is likely to charge a premium for LTE over its 3G service, which could add up to $10 or $15 to a user's bill. (See Verizon's LTE: How Much More $$ Than 3G?.)
Tiered pricing Verizon has frequently hinted that it could charge for bits -- and, according to the Wall Street Journal possibly even cap speeds -- on its new network. (See Verizon Breathing Down Sprint's 4G Neck.)
More news tomorrow Verizon has a press conference at noon on Wednesday detailing more on its launch plans for LTE.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile