We’ve talked about Verizon’s much-anticipated LTE rollout for quite some time. With an initial release that should cover roughly 1/3rd of the US population in 38 markets and 60 airports, it’s an ambitious single-switch launch. According to SVP/CTO Tony Malone, Verizon has been working for the past two years to build up the network.
We’ve also talked about the fact that Verizon isn’t necessarily aiming at personal mobile devices for the long-term effect of its LTE network. Of course, without devices, Verizon will be fighting an uphill battle against Sprint as a high-speed competitor.
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What, then, will Verizon have for us on launch? Consumers will have access to two new USB LTE modems:
According to Gizmodo, Verizon’s LTE site is already live so you can check to see if your particular address of interest is covered. As for specific speeds, Malone says that a “fully loaded network” download speeds of 5-12mbit/sec will be “the norm”. Latency should be roughly half of what you see in 3G networks today.
So what about pricing? Given that Sprint is offering unlimited bandwidth (truly, and not 5GB “unlimited”) for their 4G Verizon has something to live up to. While it’s pricier than what we’re seeing from Sprint, it’s still competitive given the network.
- $50 for 5GB
- $80 for 10GB
- Both plans offer $1/GB overage
The modems will run $99 each, after $50 rebate, on a 2 year contract. As for the rest of the devices? Verizon is only willing to say that they will launch “by the middle of 2011”. It’s interesting, to us, that Verizon has chosen to launch the service without a dedicated, non-USB device. Given the company’s push with the iPad, it seems to make sense that they would.
It’s also interesting to note that the LTE data plans undercut the present ones by $10. According to Malone, “5GB may not be enough”, so Verizon is actually aiming toward the $80 plan to be the more in demand of the two. Worried about your bandwidth? Verizon states that it will be providing 4 alerts for the price plans. At 50, 75, 90 and 100 percent, Verizon will be sending information to the consumer.
Closing the talk, Malone makes a point to say that “not all 4G is the same”. Firing shots back at Sprint? It would certainly seem so.