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Verizon plans to cover 90% of the United States with 4G by the end of 2013.  (Source: Verizon)
Verizon's 4G is almost two years ahead of AT&T's

Verizon Wireless has begun user trials of its 4G LTE network in five U.S. cities, Tech Republic reports.

The nation's largest wireless carrier has been running technical trials in Boston and Seattle. In the Boston trials, average download speeds ranged between 5-12 Mbps, and average upload speeds saw a 2-5 Mbps range. These speeds may not sound like much -- compared to even T-Mobile's HSPA+ claims -- but Verizon's stated speeds are the average reported, rather than theoretical maximums that most carriers like to tout.

Technical trials are staged [and] tiered in accordance with industry standards. They’re [now] completed," said David Clevenger, Verizon's executive director of public affairs, in a conference call with developers. “The next phase is ‘friendly user trials,’ which means we’re looking for feedback on the network."

Verizon is the first major U.S. carrier to begin building its LTE network, with plans to launch the high-speed service in 25 to 30 cities across the country by the end of 2010. AT&T, Verizon's closest competitor in terms of size, is investing in its current 3G network and won't begin technical trials of LTE until 2011. That puts Verizon's 4G ahead of AT&T's by almost two years.

Verizon also recently announced plans to build out its LTE network in rural areas, where Sprint's WiMAX coverage map is as desolate as Tatoine.

The company did not announce which additional three cities it plans to test LTE in, or who the "users" will be. The trials are a key step in rolling out the new network -- Verizon's first based on GSM technology -- to the 100 million American the company plans to cover by year's end. Verizon plans to cover its existing 3G footprint with LTE by the end of 2013.





"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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