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Summary:

The proposed speeds on Verizon Wireless LTE network are impressive and compare favorably against WiMAX. But we won’t know how much we’ll pay — and how usage might be restricted — it’s too early to say what kind of user adoption we’ll see.

Verizon Wireless has finally disclosed expected speeds for its upcoming LTE network, saying the technology will support average data rates per user of 5-12 Mbps on download and 2-5 Mbps on uploads. LTE latency will be roughly one-fourth that of existing 3G technologies, the carrier boasts on its site touting the 4G offering, and will be more than 10 times faster than 3G.

The LTE speeds are impressive, to be sure, outperforming even today’s wired broadband for many. And it compares favorably to WiMAX, which supports download speeds of up to 10 Mbps and average downloads of 3-6 Mbps. But Verizon has yet to disclose pricing for its 4G services, and we’re unlikely to see data caps increase much until the company and other carriers build out their LTE networks on a large scale.

Verizon on the site also promises to be the first U.S. operator to launch LTE, starting with 25 to 30 markets in 2010 and covering roughly 100 million people. The operator vows to extend coverage to its current 3G footprint in 2013.

There will surely be substantial demand for LTE from users looking for lightning-fast wireless connections for phones, netbooks and other gadgets, but until we know what kind of price points and restrictions come with 4G offerings, it’s too early to predict how soon we’ll see a world without wires.

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  1. i don’t get it. the problem with mobile broadband today is not speed but capacity. they should be offering lower speeds but cheaper prices the the capacity to serve many more customers. i just do not see i need for that much speed to a mobile device. that kind of speed is needed to take on wired broadband though. but will the capacity and pricing make that practical?

    i would much rather see LTE technology used to drastically decrease price and increase customer count.

  2. Will they also offer a backpack to carry the handset’s battery? ;-)

    Only half joking. I was in Europe last month with my Blackberry Tour and found that on a 3G connection the battery barely lasted one day. Switching to GPRS noticeable improved the situation, of course at greatly reduced throughput.

    I can only imagine what a power-hog a 4G device will be…

  3. The one thing they need to do is get rid of bandwidth caps. I have a Sprint MiFi with a 5GB cap. When I use it for email I don’t have a problem. When I want to use it for more than I reach the bandwidth caps in 5 days. I did use it to watch a few online shows but still you could never get 5GB to last a whole month as a broadband substitute.

  4. Paul Kapustka Monday, December 7, 2009

    If you read between the lines a bit it looks like a 3G contract will also be required (or “bundled” into the pricing); also notice how Verizon removed the delivery date of “mid-to late-2010″ that we saw earlier (the site now just says “2010.”): http://bit.ly/4LIXnh

  5. 5Words: JooJoo is Interesting But Pricey | Technologizer Monday, December 7, 2009

    [...] Details on Verizon’s 4G broadband. [...]

  6. mesa » Blog Archive » Big Ideas: The Internet is virtually ruling our lives – Vancouver Sun Monday, December 7, 2009

    [...] Verizon Wireless has finally disclosed expected speeds for its upcoming LTE network, saying the technology will support average data rates per user of 5-12 Mbps on download and 2-5 Mbps on uploads. LTE latency will be roughly one-fourth that of items for discussion [...]

  7. @ tom — You’re right that most mainstream consumers aren’t all that concerned about broadband speeds on their phones, but that’s sure to change (and probably is already) as more people lean on cellular networks to connect their netbooks, laptops and (eventually) a host of other gadgets. That said, you’re also right that capacity will be key.

  8. @MG – you are not getting 5-12Mb/s throughput on HSPA+. These listed speeds are actual tested throughputs, not what the standard was specs out as being technically capable of. If you want to look at technicals

    HSPA+ 56Mb/s Up / 22Mb/s down (Telsta is only operating at half the possible spec, and even slower on actual throughput)

    LTE 2+2 MIMO 172Mb/s Up / 86.4Mb/s down (5-12Mb/s down and 2-5Mb/s up is real world expected speeds, many multiples current CDMA/HSPA technology.

    1. @Justin – Telstra NextG actually has realworld speed 8Mbps if you want to get technical.

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