updated 02:40 pm EDT, Wed October 6, 2010
Verizon confirms 4G launch plans at CTIA
Verizon at a keynote at CTIA today confirmed plans to launch its LTE-based 4G network for the end of the year. The initial rollout will cover 38 major urban areas, including New York City and much of the northeast; key cities in Georgia; Dallas, Houston and New Orleans in the south, and major cities in California that include much of the San Francisco Bay Area. About 60 airports will also be blanketed with the faster speeds.
Typical speeds on the network should float between 5Mbps and 12Mbps for downloads and between 2Mbps and 5Mbps for uploads. Verizon's form of LTE runs on the 700MHz spectrum and allows relatively quick expansion as well as a much greater likelihood of getting a good signal indoors. It should have half the latency of 3G at about 30ms and work more effectively for two-way video, multiplayer games and other time-sensitive tasks.
About 110 million people can be reached by the initial coverage, but Verizon expects to reach 200 million in 1.5 years and to reach its entire 3G coverage map with 4G by the end of 2013. It also said it plans to allow leasing its 4G network and helping to get phones.
The carrier hasn't yet detailed devices or pricing, but it has previously said it will launch first with modems and routers and move on to phones only in 2011. It also repeated its intent at CTIA to move to tiered pricing with caps once 4G is active, though this might not apply to 3G.