Verizon Finally Rolls Out 4G LTE Wireless Network

by Matt Klassen on December 3, 2010

With months of baseless advertisements trumpeting Verizon’s so-called 4G LTE network as the fastest, most comprehensive, and most reliable wireless network in the country, its finally come time to put those claims to the test, as Verizon announced the official rollout of its next generation LTE network will begin this Sunday (Dec. 5th).

This next gen broadband, said to be at least 10 times faster than the 3G network speeds we’ve all grown accustomed too, will hit most major American metropolitan areas—38 cities across the country in total—on Sunday, including New York, Chicago, LA, and San Francisco, among others of course.

But when Verizon officially turns on its 4G technology this weekend, don’t expect the data transfer speeds on your Blackberry or Android devices to suddenly becoming blazingly fast. The reason is simple; Verizon currently doesn’t have any phones embedded with LTE chips yet, meaning that mobile users are stuck with boring ol’ 3G network speeds until some time next year.

It always seems to me that the stories that have the most hype generated around them tend to be the most disappointing—unless its an Apple device I guess. In addition to the fact that Verizon will be switching on its next gen LTE network without any support for any current smartphones, it seems that not even all 38 cities pegged for this initial rollout will receive LTE wireless network coverage on Sunday, as reports indicate only about 70 percent of the cities will be up and running by Dec. 5th.

While failing to meet the first of many LTE milestones, Verizon remains steadfastly dedicated to its three year comprehensive 4G rollout plan. The number one wireless provider in America fully expects the next phase of expansion to occur within the next 18 months, a phase that will see Verizon’s LTE become available to approximately two-thirds of Verizon customers in its footprint. That will be subsequently followed by another proposed expansion at the end of 2011 that will see LTE become available to 200 million people, and by 2013 more than 285 million customers across the country.

But that’s a long way off. What customers are stuck with now is the slow rollout of a new, and largely unproven, next generation wireless service, currently available only for Verizon’s laptop customers. At launch time the only LTE embedded device will be a USB air card, designed to be able to access both 4G and 3G networks—switching to the latter when the former is not available.

The USB device itself will cost $99 and come with a mandatory two year contract. That contract, in case you were interested, comes in the form of two data plan options: 5 GB of data per month for $50 or 10 GB of data for $80/month, with heavy penalties–$10 for every 1 GB over the allotted limit—levied against careless users.

All that said, its already been well established that Verizon is more than willing to bend the truth when advertising for this new “4G” LTE network, and I for one have become more than a little jaded. Will the network be faster than current 3G speeds? Of course, that much is certainly true, but with the network not reaching mandated 4G speeds, with no smartphone support, and with quite possibly the slowest rollout possible, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to get excited about Verizon’s next gen LTE wireless.

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annonymous December 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Wow interesting article. Maybe you should try backing up some of you random statements with a few facts. What a joke

Matt Klassen December 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I can’t help but note an air of sarcasm here. Which “random statements” would you be referring to, annonymous? I’d be happy to defend anything I’ve written here.

Further, if you’re looking for support for my so called “random statements,” perhaps try clicking on the highlighted links throughout the article that will direct you to my sources.

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