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Summary:

Verizon Wireless plans to roll out 4G LTE in 38 metro areas by the end of this year, hitting 110 million people in major cities such New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago, Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Verizon Wireless plans to roll out 4G LTE in 38 cities by the end of this year, reaching 110 million people in metro areas including New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area.

While Verizon trails the deployment of Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network, the initial rollout will be more impressive, covering a third of the U.S. population and almost every major metro area as well as 62 airports.

“These are major markets and we’re covering them in a major way,” said CEO Lowell McAdam.

Verizon is promising download speeds of 5-12 megabits per second and upload speeds of 2-5 mbps. The carrier plans to show LTE phones, laptops and machine-to-machine devices from major manufacturers at CES in January with availability in the first half of next year. Initially, look for 4G USB laptop cards at launch.

McAdam said the long-term plans call for Verizon to cover 200 million users by the end of 2012, and more than 285 million users by the end of 2013. He said Verizon has signed deals with five rural carriers for roaming agreements, and another dozen operators are on tap to partner with Verizon for rural rollouts of LTE.

McAdam said the 700 MHz spectrum touches all parts of the country and will enable easy roll out of devices. The network should perform just as well indoors as the current 3G system, said Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Malone.

Sprint’s 4G network, which launched almost a year ago, now covers more than 50 cities and will hit New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco by the end of this year, covering about 120 million people. Meanwhile, AT&T plans to launch its LTE network by mid-2011 and cover up to 75 million people by the of next year.

It’s good to see Verizon aggressively roll out 4G. While Sprint has covered some major cities like Chicago, Washington, Houston and Dallas, the measured expansion has yet to cover the biggest markets, making the 4G roll out feel more like a regional launch, rather than a national campaign. Having the ability to hit dozens of the biggest cities on day one should catch the attention of many consumers and should help the carrier attract a lot of device makers.

This will be an exciting time for consumers itching for more speed. The networks will provide great performance for video and other applications, and could enable even more reliance on cloud services.

Just be prepared to pay for it. McAdam did not release pricing details but reiterated that unlimited buckets of data will eventually give way to tiered data pricing. Even with the added capacity of 4G, there’s only so much to go around, he said.

“Clearly over time we will be migrating to a bucket of megabytes and gigabytes approach and people will buy what they need,” he said.

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

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user nahkahousu

  1. Verizon continues to show their ability to execute mobile. Their dominance will further be solidified with this aggressive day one deployment. Sprint dropped the ball with it’s slow deployment of wimax and it’s inherent weaknesses in internal signal penetration.

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  2. Hitting the major cities will be incredibly important however what about the rest of the nation? We already have a technology gap growing, how can we stop that from getting bigger? With a lot of middle America still using dial up, how can we ensure we all grow as a nation? This will only prove to improve productivity and innovation. That being said, I am PUMPED for the faster connection!

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  3. Racehorse duct-taped to a SCUD Missile fast! Drrrooooiiiddddd

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  4. [...] network technology is considered the world standard. And while Verizon and other CDMA carriers are rolling out 4G technologies such as LTE and WiMAX, it’s going to take a few years before these next-generation data networks are [...]

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  5. [...] few handsets can take full advantage of such speeds. Of course, the competitors are stepping it up: Verizon is launching LTE service in over 38 markets this year, and in 2011, AT&T will start offering its own LTE [...]

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  6. [...] 1, while Los Angeles follows on December 1 and San Francisco later that month. The 4G service will immediately compete with Verizon’s LTE mobile broadband network, slated to appear in the same three major cities, and 35 additional ones, before the close of 2010. [...]

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  7. [...] Pay for what you use. Love it or hate it, the end of unlimited data plans are near. Now that carriers have a few years of smartphone user data to predict data demand, wireless plans are getting adjusted accordingly and economic barriers will keep some users under certain levels of data usage. With the debut of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad devices, for example, AT&T eliminated the all-you-can-eat data plans for new customers, opting instead to sell data buckets of 200 MB and 2 GB. Those limits roughly correspond with Sharma’s own estimates that data card users consume on average 2 GB a month, while superphone users consume about 500 MB. T-Mobile recently revamped its stance; the carrier will slow wireless data speeds after 5 GB of monthly data is used. Verizon is rumored to be offering new, limited plans as early as next week for 3G smartphones, and the carrier previously said it will follow a similar, tiered approach with its 4G network, which launches in the coming weeks in 38 markets. [...]

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  8. [...] launch of LTE service in Las Vegas. Verizon Wireless will join the LTE bandwagon later this year by lighting up 38 cities, and AT&T plans to flip the switch on its LTE service by mid-2011. Those faster networks will [...]

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  9. [...] Wireless plans to launch LTE in 38 markets and more than 60 commercial airports across the nation, covering more than 110 [...]

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  10. [...] broadband networks: T-Mobile is rolling out handsets that can use its speedy HSPA+ network and Verizon is about to light up a 4G network in 38 markets for devices now, and for smartphones next year. Related ResearchHow Starbucks Can Become the Barnes [...]

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