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Summary:

Verizon Wireless said it will launch its first LTE handsets by the middle of 2011. But the super-fast handsets are likely to come with usage pricing models that will see high-end users pay substantially more for 4G service than they’re currently paying for 3G.

Verizon Wireless will bring its first 4G handsets to market by the middle of 2011, CTO Anthony Melone said in a Wall Street Journal piece (hat tip Engadget). But using those super-fast Long Term Evolution phones is going to cost you.

We learned last year that Verizon would launch its first LTE phones sometime in 2011, but the new ETA is several months earlier than the company had previously forecast. The phones will support promised speeds of 5-12 Mbps on download and 2-5 Mbps on uploads on the LTE network, which will launch in 25-30 markets this year.

But Melone also said that all-you-can-eat data plans are “the big issue that has to change.” (AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega made similar comments in December, pointing the finger at data-hungry iPhone users.) Verizon Communications CTO Dick Lynch in January told the Washington Post that LTE pricing would likely involve a base subscriber fee plus usage charges for bandwidth consumed.  That scenario could apply to several different pricing models, as Stacey has noted. Regardless of how, exactly, Verizon chooses to bill for 4G service, one thing is clear: High-end users are going to pay substantially more than they’ve been paying for 3G.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Metered Mobile Data is Coming and Here’s How

Image courtesy Flickr Hector Milla.

By Colin Gibbs

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  1. i lot of people like speed. but i doubt that many are willing to pay more for it. my understanding is that 4G networks are far more spectrum efficient and therefore much cheaper to operate in the long run. higher retail pricing will simply not work. also we have to remember that sprint/clear is out there as well with wimax. verizon has no choice but to be competitive.

    sounds to me like verizon is attempting to give inflated projections to share holders. all this talk of ‘higher pricing’ is all about hustling on wall street. there is no way the verizon execs. are really dumb enough top believe consumers would be willing to pay inflated prices. when the day comes they will match or go just slightly higher than what sprint/clear is charging.

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    1. A lot of LTE proponents still seem to think that their success has to come at the hands of Wimax. I stand by my prediction that Verizon will be the first to go usage-based pricing. If LTE fans want a service that they can afford in 2011, they need to cheer on WiMax in 2010.

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  2. Verizon already charges me $66.00 dollars a month for only 5 GB of internet usage, and anything over that is overage. If they think that I am going to pay more money for less they are crazy. Haven’t they seen the news Americans are losing their jobs and their houses, what Verizon needs to do is set a medium rate and an unlimited rate. If they keep going up I as well as many other Americans will just drop them and go with dsl or broadband. Wake up Verizon, now is not the time to be greedy.

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  3. [...] users, something that may play a larger role as rivals introduce tiered pricing plans, as both Verizon and AT&T have talked about [...]

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  4. [...] know the details of the LTE pricing buckets, we shouldn’t have long to wait. McAdam expects three to five LTE handsets to launch in the first half of 2011 as Verizon plans to bring LTE to nearly 30 U.S. [...]

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  5. [...] Verizon’s CDMA Transition Continues as CTO Dick Lynch Joins GSMA Board By Kevin C. Tofel Jun. 21, 2010, 11:00am PDT No Comments       Verizon CTO Dick Lynch has joined the board of the GSMA Association, just four months after the carrier became a member of the industry group. Although Verizon Wireless has since day one embraced CDMA cellular technology while AT&T and T-Mobile adopted the more globally accepted GSM standards, the carrier will begin rolling out its 4G network, which will utilize the GSM-based LTE standard, in two dozen markets this year. [...]

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  6. [...] Verizon CTO Dick Lynch has joined the board of the GSMA Association, just four months after the carrier became a member of the industry group. Although Verizon Wireless has since day one embraced CDMA cellular technology while AT&T and T-Mobile adopted the more globally accepted GSM standards, the carrier will begin rolling out its 4G network, which will utilize the GSM-based LTE standard, in two dozen markets this year. [...]

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  7. [...] LTE network may go live in November, but the carrier has indicated the first LTE-capable smartphone won’t appear on the network until next year. Samsung has stated that MetroPCS will make the Samsung Craft phone available in September [...]

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  8. [...] LTE network may go live in November, but the carrier has indicated the first LTE-capable smartphone won’t appear on the network until next year. Samsung has stated that MetroPCS will make the Samsung Craft phone available in September [...]

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