Verizon Announces 4G Network Details

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This week, Verizon announced it will be hot on the heels of Sprint and Clearwire when it launches its 4G LTE network on Sunday, December 5. The fourth generation of wireless standards will offer up much faster speeds — 5-12 Mbps down, 2-5 Mbps up, according to the company.

As expected, the boost won’t come cheap, but they’re somewhat in line with 3G data plans. For $50 per month, customers will receive 5GB in data, and $80 will get 10GB. Anything over will cost subscribers $10 per gigabyte. MobileCrunch’s Greg Kumparak suspects the fees will be completely separate from the standard data plan charges, as they won’t be integrated until 2012 or 2013.

At that point, unless a miracle happens, there won’t be unlimited data plans as we know them today.

A whopping 38 markets will see the 4G launch this weekend. Not including a slew of airports, those cities include:

Akron, Ohio
Athens and Atlanta, Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois
Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio
San Antonio, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colorado
Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and Jacksonville, Florida
Las Vegas, Nevada
Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Nashville, Tennessee
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York and Rochester, New York
Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and San Diego, California
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
St. Louis, Missouri
Washington, D.C.
West Lafayette, Indiana

Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing any 4G-enabled smartphones until mid-2011, some of which will supposedly be revealed at Consumer Electronics Show in January — according to a company spokesperson. In the meantime, Verizon will be releasing two USB modems for $99 each on contract after rebates. They will also work on 3G networks when outside 4G’s reach, but are only Windows-compatible. Sorry Mac users.

During a Q&A session, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone addressed LTE’s ability to handle simultaneous voice and data. At launch, voice-only calls will remain on 3G and data on 4G when both networks are available. “One of the reasons why we are not going out with voice out of the gate is it creates complexities that don’t serve anyone,” Melone told All Things Digital’s Ina Fried. After the trial period, both voice and data will move to LTE.

There was no specific mention of a 4G iPhone making its way to Verizon’s network, but Melone stated that LTE will be able to handle “lots of devices.”

So like any 4G Android device on Verizon, that means more waiting.

This post was written by Minyanville staff writer Mike Schuster.

Written by Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.