Verizon's long-awaited 4G LTE service, promising speeds of 5-12 Mbps down and 2-5 Mbps up, is launching in 38 major metropolitan markets and over 60 airports today (get the full list here). Since no LTE-capable mobile phones exist on VZW just yet, the only way to experience LTE on the move is by getting 1 of 2 (soon to be 3) 4G USB modems. Unlike Sprint's truly unlimited 4G plans, Verizon's plans carry a data cap: $50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB, with a $10/GB overage fee.
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.
Believe it or not, Verizon and AT&T aren't alone in the LTE scene; not by a long shot, as US Cellular CFO Steven Campbell has just reminded us all. During the Wells Fargo Technology Conference in NYC, he stated that the carrier will be rolling out LTE to one test market next year, while the rest of us will just have to wait until 2012. Rather discouragingly, the carrier hasn't even chosen a network equipment vendor yet, although Clearwire and LightSquared are, reportedly, being considered.
It sure is a looker with that oh-so-sexy aluminum body... but we already knew about that. The real news here is that, tucked away in the upper right corner of the notification bar, is a promising 4G icon:
It's not as surprising as it could have been since Jeremiah Nelson spilled the beans yesterday, but it's always nice to see confirmation in the form of device pictures themselves.
When it comes to Verizon engineers and Twitter, there really aren't any secrets - some employees kind of just let it all out. Such is the case with Jeremiah Nelson (@V3RDICT), who today tweeted out not one, but six items of interest to future LTE customers.
To recap, according to Jeremiah, HTC Merge will not get released this month due to a late decision to equip it with an LTE chip (that's Verizon's version of 4G).
A Verizon-bound LTE equivalent of the HTC EVO? Nope, that's no longer just a blissful dream for Big Red users, as @black_man_x, a Verizon employee working in the LTE division, yesterday tweeted out the following message:
To add on to that, he went on to tell Droid Life that the pictures of the Incredible HD that BGR obtained a few months ago are legit, although the device has since been "refined a bit." We've already seen one great EVO look-a-like, so let's hope this aluminum-clad beast is another.
Next up in the seemingly endless line of future Android phones we know almost nothing about: one of Verizon and LG's future LTE devices.
Unfortunately, Engadget's tipster didn't say much about this Verizon-bound device other than that it would be high-end, which in itself would be quite a departure from LG's other Android phone, the Ally. Luckily, there's a collection of logos awaiting us on the battery cover, including one that, thrillingly enough, represents LTE (it's right above the LG logo).
Excellent news for Verizon customers wondering just when exactly the largest carrier in the US is going to start gunning after Sprint 4G and other competition. In a press release published a few minutes ago from the CTIA conference, Verizon detailed plans for 4G LTE expansion that we can expect by the end of the year.
The press release outlines and lists all 38 major metropolitan areas and 60 airports that are set to receive LTE coverage (exact locations - thank you, Verizon, that is how press releases should be done!).
Over at the on-going CEATEC show at the Makuhari Messe in Japan, visitors have been treated to a display by Samsung of the next generation in WiMax. While you may be excited about getting HSPA+ (<56 Mb) on your G2, or the forthcoming LTE (<100 Mb) network promised by Verizon late this year, the 330 Mbit connection of WiMax 2 (up from <30 Mb) rather puts those in the shade. Showing off speeds that most would trade limbs for even on their home network, the new 802.16m implementation is capable of streaming full HD 3D video with ease.
Having one device leaked is so last fiscal year, man. Verizon is hip to the new trend of leaking out details of all of your devices and giving people a heads-up to not buy phones that are out right now since they're just gonna get replaced anyway.
Androids aren't the only things on show, but forgive us for omitting those not relevant to the droid-heads (check BerryPolice.com, great site).
Motorola's got the lion's share of the devices.