Verizon launches LTE network (but don't hold your breath for iPhone 4G)

Verizon has officially launched their 4G LTE network with a website, press release... but no phones yet, and especially no LTE iPhone 4G. Non-iPhone LTE phones should come by mid-2011 though we'll probably get some sneak peaks at CES this January. Rumors still heavily suggest an iPhone 4 on Verizon early next year but just like Apple stuck to EDGE for iPhone 2G, it's assumed they'll be sticking to CDMA for the Verizon iPhone.

This LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment is just the beginning of the slow, steady march towards true, fantastically fast 4G connectivity and early radios will no doubt be battery hogging, network clogging, voice-hybrid technology. Based on previous behavior, Apple will avoid them and put out an LTE iPhone 4G (and iPad 4G) in 2012 or 2013 when the radios are more mature and the networks better built out.

Still, it's fun to dream, and if you're really hyped up about some LTE hyperspeed, Verizon has broadband plans ready to go:

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.

So you could always turn the tables and tether from your laptop while you wait... right?

[Android Central]

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Verizon launches LTE network (but don't hold your breath for iPhone 4G)

15 Comments

A 50$ monthly data only bill... What has this cellular world come to? How many people will be willing to pay 50 bucks just for quicker data? Screw that.

It's targeted more towards the business travelers. All cell companies charge $60/month for their data connect cards on 3G right now. $50/month for a 4G data connect card is kinda reasonable.
Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a high price.

LTE has as good of a chance of being on any 2011 iPhone as does a physical keyboard. Not going to happen until 2012 at the earliest.

Yeah, Apple should wait a whole year while Verizon puts all their high end smartphones on LTE. Uuhhhhhh.

It's 3.9G. LTE gives much faster rates (100+Mb/s) than 3G but it still uses the same old circuit switched node connections for voice. The "real 4G" will be all-IP packet-switched for voice and data, so it will need 10x higher speeds and lower latency than LTE (up to 1Gb/sec.) to avoid lag during voice calls. The 4G spec could chosen as early as 2011, and LTE Advanced might be the winner.

5-12 down and 2-5 seems kinda slow for lte 4g, real world will probably be closer the low end and that is around what I get on 3G with at&t, 3-5 down and 1-2 up. I thought lte was suppose to be faster than that.

First generation cell chips suck battery power. It took 2 iterations of GSM iPhones (3G/3GS) before Apple got the battery consumption right in the 4. If they go LTE in 2012 they'll likely go backwards. So, I suspect that they'll go LTE in 2013 globally rather than make an unacceptable device in 2012.

The "real 4G" will be out a few years after these "semi-4G" beginnings. This is all marketing blah to pull in customers. Everyone does it even ATT. If Apple is smart they'll hold back until "real4G" comes out. The iPhone4 is pretty dam fast as it is.