Print 50 comment(s) - last by hiscross.. on Dec 2 at 9:21 PM

Verizon Wireless is kicking off its 4G efforts by launch two modems on Sunday. Phones and tablets won't land until midway next year.  (Source: Verizon)
Two new modems will be available on Sunday, but no 4G smartphones or tablets

America's largest wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless, this morning officially kicked off its push for 4G. The company has launched its next generation wireless technology in 38 markets, which it says will cover 110 million Americans.  

Tony Melone, the company's Chief Technology Officer claims that the network will generally offer a 10 times performance boost over current EV-DO network (3G).  It will offer real world speeds of 5 to 12Mbps down and 2 to 5Mbps up -- several times 3G data speeds in many areas.  It will also cut the latency approximately in half from current 3G technology.

Verizon has "a very aggressive plan" to offer nationwide 4G coverage by 2013.  To do that it will be making use of its recently purchased spectrum in the 700 MHz range.

While it did not announce any new 4G-ready smartphones or laptops quite yet (apparently Sprint's Galaxy TabEpic 4G, and EVO 4G are still in a league of their own), it did announce two new 4G USB modems from LG and Pantech will each cost $99.99 USD after $50 rebate.  The first two modems will land exclusively in Verizon stores on December 5.  More modems are coming within weeks, and all are backwards compatible with Verizon's 3G network.  

The modems will come with a choice of two 4G data plans -- $50/month for 5GB or $80/month for 10GB.  Overages will cost $10 USD/GB, a pretty reasonable rate, compared to Verizon's past wireless modem overage rates, which could total a couple thousand dollars for going several gigabytes over. [
Ed. - Personal experience!]

Reportedly some of the new modems don't work with Apple computers, according to 
Engadget, who tested one of the devices.  Perhaps Apple is saying "no" to 4G, like it is USB 3.0Blu-ray, Flash, and SSD upgrades.

Another limitation is that while the modems can jump from 4G to 3G in areas of intermittent coverage, they can't jump back until data transmission is ceased (e.g. the network is disconnected).

"Other devices", i.e. 4G smartphones and tablets will likely be announced at CES and will launch in "mid 2011" according to Verizon's presentation.  

Verizon finished its presentation with a bit of humor -- "Whether you call it 4G or chicken soup, it launches this Sunday."

It also revealed during the Q&A that it might merge its 3G and LTE efforts in 2012 or 2013, around the time when it hopes to start transmitted voice information (phone calls) over its LTE channels.  Currently LTE will exclusively work with the company's data offerings.

There's plenty to take home from Verizon's announcement.  LTE is arguably significantly superior to the "4G-like" HSPA+ (actually 3.5G) that T-Mobile offers.  But T-Mobile has the edge in that it
currently offers 3.5G smartphones, while Verizon's offerings presumably won't land until mid-next year.  

Similarly Verizon has even more to worry about from Sprint Nextel, who currently is selling 
true 4G-enabled tablets and smartphones.  

On the plus side for Verizon, though, its deployment does seem fairly aggressive -- covering one third of Americans with a next generation data network is nothing to sneer at.  And the company seems well ahead of AT&T, which looks to be late to the gate  in the 4G generation (AT&T currently offers "LTE-ready" broadband cards, but its LTE network won't come online until next year).  With that said, AT&T currently has the fastest overall nationwide data network, according to several surveys, so Verizon also has to worry about that.

And it's important to consider that while T-Mobile and especially Sprint may be a bit ahead of Verizon, they're America's fourth and third largest wireless providers, respectively, while Verizon is the largest.  Thus lack of visibility and reputation may result in these companies being unable to fully capitalize on their technology advantage, in the brief window that it exists.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Jason Mick's nose up Verizon's ass
By FATCamaro on 12/1/2010 1:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
Get your head out from where the sun don't. How is this a reasonable deal? Even the $80/month plan is not unlimited. Not biased garbage writing at all. Pathetic that DT is linked to AT (which I love).

RE: Jason Mick's nose up Verizon's ass
By mcnabney on 12/1/2010 1:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
You can't possibly compare wireless to cable or fiber, or even DSL, for total capacity.

Verizon paid tens of billions for that massive 20mhz slice of spectrum - coast to coast. I think that is just for LTE.

Guess what, that is all the tower can use, so many square miles of people have to share that same 20mhz. Now, I know that LTE is really efficient, but they still can only get about 350mbs using the entire band. Now try to divide that across the entire tower. Sorry, but they don't want bittorrent junkies and constant Netflix users on their network.

RE: Jason Mick's nose up Verizon's ass
By Alexstarfire on 12/1/2010 3:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
If you're not streaming video then this is pretty useless. Don't get me wrong, people still need lots of speed at certain times, but with all the free WiFi out there I think the odds they'll need it where WiFi isn't offered is pretty small. 3G or 3.5G can cover, hell even EDGE, can cover the rest.

RE: Jason Mick's nose up Verizon's ass
By mcnabney on 12/1/2010 4:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference between doing an occasional video call and watching a TV episode versus streaming a constant HD video feed.

By Alexstarfire on 12/1/2010 8:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
True, but who the hell streams an HD video feed constantly, even on desktops? Got to remember they aren't talking about cell phones in this, but all mobile devices. This means laptops.

By DanNeely on 12/1/2010 3:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to be able to use wireless data at the same level as wired you'll need to be OK with wireless towers as densely packed as cable nodes. A docsis 3 node can deliver about the same total amount of bandwidth as an LTE tower. In suburbia they're placed at a density of roughly 1 every 10 blocks.

Current suburban tower density is closer to 1 every 10 square miles. Think on this for a moment.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular ArticlesSmartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
September 21, 2016, 9:52 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Update: Problem-Free Galaxy Note7s CPSC Approved
September 22, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki