As expected, today Verizon Wireless officially unveiled its plans to light up more than 1/3 of America with the next generation 4G LTE network. The switch will be flipped this Sunday, December 5th, but since VZW doesn't have any LTE-enabled mobile phones just yet, the only way to get a taste of the new network will be using one of the two USB modems VZW will be offering: the LG VL600 or the Pantech UML290.

The coverage area is pretty impressive, considering this is the first time LTE will be rolled out in the US - 38 major metropolitan areas and over 60 airports, which is pretty much unchanged from our report in October (see the full list in the PR at the bottom of this post).


What's not so impressive are the data plans:

  • $50 for 5GB
  • $80 for 10GB

Each additional GB will incur a $10 overage charge. To say that these plans are ridiculously overpriced would be a gross understatement. This puts the extra $10 fee for using 4G devices on the Sprint network in a whole new "this was actually pretty cheap" light. Sure, Sprint's coverage may be spottier (though this still remains to be seen) and, perhaps, slower (which also remains to be seen), but paying $80 for a measly 10 GB does not fold up in my head at all.

Real-world LTE speeds are expected to be between 5 and 12 Mbps down and 2-5 Mbps up, but we, the consumers, will be making the final call on that.

As far as LTE-enabled handsets, VZW put down mid-2011 officially, but according to some of the rumors we've seen in the last few months, they may be arriving much sooner - possibly as early as January, barring any complications.

More news about LTE can be found over at the LTE Info Center and the customer-facing, more fun, Flash-enabled VZW LTE site.

What do you think about today's announcement? Am I overreacting with the pricing structure?


Press Release:


Laptop Users Benefit First from Fastest and Most Advanced Wireless Network, Arriving in 38 Major Metropolitan Areas with New Value-Priced 4G Data Plans

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless announced today it is turning on the world’s first large-scale 4G LTE network on Sunday, Dec. 5.  Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network will be the fastest and most advanced 4G network in America.  Business users will be the first to take advantage of the 4G LTE network with speeds up to 10 times faster than the company’s 3G network.

With the launch, Verizon Wireless is also offering new value-priced 4G LTE Mobile Broadband data plans starting at $50 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance, as well as two new 4G LTE USB modems: the LG VL600 which will be available at launch, and the Pantech UML290, available soon.

Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, said, “Beginning Sunday, Verizon Wireless is making the best network even better.  Our initial 4G LTE launch gives customers access to the fastest and most advanced mobile network in America and immediately reaches more than one-third of all Americans, right where they live.  That’s just the start.  We will quickly expand 4G LTE, and by 2013 will reach the existing Verizon Wireless 3G coverage area.”

Road warriors using laptops will immediately benefit from Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network with super-fast connectivity that’s up to 10 times faster than the company’s current 3G network.  The company expects 4G LTE average data rates in real-world, loaded network environments to be 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.

Mead continued, “We are building our 4G LTE network with the same commitment to performance and reliability for which we have long been recognized.  Our commitment to superior network performance, combined with broad 4G coverage areas and the strong value of our data plans make 4G LTE Mobile Broadband the best choice for laptop users.”

4G LTE Mobile Broadband Data Plans, Devices and Coverage Areas

Verizon Wireless customers can choose from two 4G LTE Mobile Broadband data plans: $50 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance or $80 monthly access for 10 GB monthly allowance, both with $10/GB overage.  For laptop connectivity, two 4G LTE USB modems will be initially available: the LG VL600 is available at launch and the Pantech UML290 will be available soon, each $99.99 after $50 rebate with a new two-year agreement.  Both USB modems provide backward-compatibility with Verizon Wireless’ 3G network.  If laptop users travel outside of a 4G LTE coverage area, they will automatically stay connected on the company’s 3G network.

The two modems harness the power of the company’s 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network to help enterprise, business and government customers make their workforces more productive, providing super-fast laptop connectivity.  Both modems will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, online at www.verizonwireless.com, by phone by calling 1-800 256-4646 and through the company’s business sales channels.  

The company expects consumer-oriented handsets will be available by mid-2011.

Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network is initially launching in 38 major metropolitan areas and in more than 60 commercial airports coast to coast – at both airports within the launch areas plus airports in other key cities.   Street level coverage area maps will be available online on Dec. 5.  Today, customers can go to www.verizonwireless.com/4Glte to check if their addresses will be in the initial 4G LTE coverage area.

Spectrum and Network Partners

By leveraging its 700 MHz spectrum for LTE deployment in the United States, Verizon Wireless is capable of quickly deploying a high-quality wireless broadband network with excellent coverage.  Verizon Wireless’ primary 4G LTE network vendors, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, are providing the underlying infrastructure for the 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network.

Visit www.verizonwireless.com/lte for more information about Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network.

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Initial Major Metropolitan Area Deployment (Dec. 5, 2010)

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


Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Initial Commercial Airport Deployment (Airport Name, City, State) Dec. 5, 2010

  • Austin-Bergstrom International, Austin, Texas
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshal, Glen Burnie, Maryland
  • Bob Hope, Burbank, California
  • Boeing Field/King County International, Seattle, Washington
  • Charlotte/Douglas International, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Chicago Midway International, Chicago, Illinois
  • Chicago O’Hare International, Chicago, Illinois
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Covington, Kentucky
  • Cleveland-Hopkins International, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dallas Love Field, Dallas, Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Denver International, Denver, Colorado
  • Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • George Bush Intercontinental/Houston, Houston, Texas
  • Greater Rochester International, Rochester, New York
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Honolulu International, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Jacksonville International, Jacksonville, Florida
  • John F. Kennedy International, New York, New York
  • John Wayne Airport-Orange County, Santa Ana, California
  • Kansas City International, Kansas City, Missouri
  • La Guardia, New York, New York
  • Lambert-St. Louis International, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Long Beach/Daugherty Field, Long Beach, California
  • Los Angeles International, Los Angeles, California
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International, Metairie, Louisiana
  • McCarran International, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Memphis International, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Metropolitan Oakland International, Oakland, California
  • Miami International, Miami, Florida
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Nashville International, Nashville, Tennessee
  • New Castle, Wilmington, Delaware
  • Newark Liberty International, Newark, New Jersey
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International, San Jose, California
  • North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Orlando International, Orlando, Florida
  • Orlando Sanford International, Sanford, Florida
  • Palm Beach International, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Philadelphia International, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway, Mesa, Arizona
  • Pittsburgh International, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Port Columbus International, Columbus, Ohio
  • Portland International, Portland, Oregon
  • Rickenbacker International, Columbus, Ohio
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National, Arlington, Virginia
  • Sacramento International, Sacramento, California
  • Salt Lake City International, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Antonio International, San Antonio, Texas
  • San Diego International, San Diego, California
  • San Francisco International, San Francisco, California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International, Seattle, Washington
  • St. Augustine, Saint Augustine, Florida
  • St. Petersburg-Clearwater International, Clearwater, Florida
  • Tampa International, Tampa, Florida
  • Teterboro, Teterboro, New Jersey
  • Trenton Mercer, Trenton, New Jersey
  • Washington Dulles International, Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C.
  • Will Rogers World, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • William P. Hobby, Houston, Texas
Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • CJM

    Holy $#i+, $80! I'll just get another phone so I could surf while the other is loading.

  • Dale Griggs

    I assume this data plan if for those that want to connect a bunch of laptops to the 4G network. Will they charge $50 a month for a data plan for your phone that is now $30 for unlimited data? If they do, sooooo looooong Verizon.

  • datadude

    Compared to 3g pricing. You are getting faster speeds for same price why the bah hum bugs this is great.

    • JJ

      Yes, it may be the same price as 3g but 4g should not have a cap on it. If you have a 4g phone and have faster speeds, that means that you'll reach your cap a lot faster than on 3g. Hopefully the 5gb cap is only on aircards and not on phones. If so I am even happier that I have stuck with sprint all this time.

    • Rox

      4G phones will also mean the capability of other data-intensive applications such as live video conferrencing, easier access to site-based-services such as netflix and with the hot-spot feature, you will definitely reach the 5Gb cap very fast. I agree JJ, although I've never gone to Sprint for my service. I've been with Verizon for at least 8 years now, but Sprint's prices look very attractive.

  • http://www.slipshft.com Slipshft

    Now that's funny! Go to the 'Where is 4GLTE available?' and it tells you that 4G will 'launch' in your area in 2010. 'Launch' only means that they will have 1 (maybe 2 sites) in the metropolitan area, not that your specific address will have coverage. It will be available somewhere within that area; nothing like wandering around to find it.

  • Happy Evo

    whoa.. I'll remain to be quite happy with my EVO's UNlimited plan for the (now bargain priced) extra $10/month!

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    This is how ridiculous it is. 5GB = 40960Mb. If Verizon can deliver what it promises (highly unlikely), at 12Mbps, you have 40960/12 ~= 3413 seconds to play with. 3413 seconds ~= 57 minutes, that means, by paying $50 a month, you will get an experience of less than 1 hour of 4G connection.

    So, either Verizon knows that it will never offer anything close to 12Mbps, or it has made up its mind to rip us off at a rate of $50/hour.

    Seriously, even if they can only deliver the low end of its speed claim, it's still a ripoff. At 5Mbps, you are just getting a little bit more than 2 hours. My recommendation, DON'T TRY TO STREAM Avatar over your LTE plan. By the time you finish watching it, you would use up all 5GB you have.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      That's not really a fair comparison, as you won't be maxing out your connection every second unless you're transferring large files.

      Applying the same logic, with a 250GB cap on Comcast, you will max it out in 1 day at 20Mbps, but it's not really realistic, is it?

      • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

        Sorry, I don't agree. Why. First of all, it's a data plan for non-phone device. It's very possible that someone one the road, using this plan with a laptop would need to download a file from a server.

        >> Applying the same logic, with a 250GB cap on Comcast, you will max it out in 1 day at 20Mbps, but it’s not really realistic, is it?

        First of all, I don't think a 250GB cap on a 20Mbps is reasonable neither. I am on a FiOS. I don't know if it has any hidden cap, but I download way more than 250GB every month, and so far, Verizon has never charged me for anything extra. (FYI, I also have a Optimum cable modem line, I actually pay more for that than my FiOS, but it's far less reliable.)

        Don't get me wrong, though. I am OK with a cap, but $50 for 5GB on a network that's supposed to be a lot faster than a 3G network just doesn't sound right.

        • Rox

          First off, 5 Gb = 5,000Mb, or in Binary terms as you attempted to put it, 4,096Mb, not 40,960Mb. 2nd of all, you're calculations, although able to be proven by pushing some buttons on a calculator, doesn't mean someone has 57 minutes of internet usage. That's misleading and you know it. Let's say someone goes onto a popular site, such as facebook, on their phone. Let's then also say that the page takes 2 seconds to render. That doesn't mean 24Mb's were used from the data plan. If the page only requires, for instance, 875Kb to fully render, then that's all it uses from your plan. Your phone will still be limited by it's hardware capacities, so even though data can stream at 5-12Mbs, it doesn't mean that is what is being used. But I do agree that the plan shouldn't be $50. Verizon has already admitted that the new technology has made the data transfers cheaper. Let's hope over time that the prices come down once the market coverage increases. Remember, it's new tech. New tech always costs more.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          Rox, 5 GB (gigabytes) = 40,960 Mbits (megabits) - if you need help converting, have a look at this. Since the service speeds are advertised in megabits per second and the cap is in gigabytes, conversion from bytes to bits needed to be made, so PixelSlave is right.

          Regarding your other point, yeah, I agree and stated so myself too - PixelSlave's wording argues for a maxed out connection for the whole duration.

  • Bod1ggity

    Stupid me, and here I am in tampa using my "4g" Tmobile G2 with 1500min talk, free nights and weekends, free t-mobile to t-mobile, unlimited text messages and unlimited Data for $79 a month... screw you verizon, im glad I left your big red punk ass.

    • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

      This comparison isn't fair -- you are using the phone plan. T-Mobile charges $39.99 for 5GB on a HSPA+ network. It's just slightly better than Verizon. Hardly a deal.

  • http://www.slipshft.com Slipshft

    On another note; for $45/mo you can use Clear and no limits on usage, and yes I have moved 20GB across in a month, that would cost me $180 to do that with verizon. Sure it's only 3-6Mbps down, but it works for me!

  • dalingrin

    Why are you guys comparing these prices with cell phone plans? This is for the tethering service/modem. If you want to compare it to something compare it to AT&T's $60 5GB Dataconnect plan.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      You're comparing to AT&T's 3G plan. Sure, Sprint's 3G laptop 5GB plan also costs $60, but it includes UNLIMITED 4G.

    • JJ

      Dont forget you can get a special sprint plan that is the same as everyones $60 for only $50. Its called sprint everything plus. in the end sprint still has the best prices and unlimited 4g. If the speeds are true and verizon is faster its not by much. I will stick with sprint and my evo with tethering. thanks but no thanks verizon. I have just as good signal with sprint as I do with verizon.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    >> Why are you guys comparing these prices with cell phone plans? This is for the tethering service/modem. If you want to compare it to something compare it to AT&T’s $60 5GB Dataconnect plan.

    That still doesn't make the plan right. Again, if you can actually get 12Mbps from Verizon's LTE, you would use up your 5GB by downloading a large file in a couple hours ONCE A MONTH. At this point, I am not expecting them to offer unlimited data, but by offering faster speed (it's supposedly to be a lot faster than AT&T's 3G network), I was hoping Verizon would increase the monthly cap to a more reasonable level.

  • dalingrin

    Don't get me wrong. I sure as hell am not buying it at that price, but they are beating their primary competitor in both price and speed.
    Expecting LTE, which is a huge infrastructure expense to upgrade, to be drastically cheaper than competition just isn't realistic.

  • GergS

    It's comparable to 3G-card data. Not sure what the fuss is.

    • JJ

      If you compare to sprint 3g card service its not the same. Sprint has a $50 5gb plan and for $60 you can get 4g with no cap.

      • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

        This is exactly what I am trying to say. Speed isn't the only advantage of a 4G network. LTE is supposed to be more efficient than HSPA+. Theoretically, such efficiency should allow a carrier to offer, not just faster speed, but larger total transmission package to customers. That's what Sprint is doing. Verizon, however, is actually doing the reverse.

  • Slipgate

    This reads as if this is their broadband cost, not their cellular internet price. Just saying.

  • Just Some Guy

    Dear Super Dumb V

    I was looking at your price and wondering if you are a redneck because you just shot your self in the foot.
    If i'm wrong (and i don't think i am) please do me a favor and see if you have another bullet down the barrel of that shotgun because there are some critters i need you to take of.
    Hear you go i think you mite need this flash light so you can see in the barrel better.

    Sprint For LYF