Verizon Plans 3 LTE Areas in 2009, 25-30 in 2010

verizon-logoWhen Verizon (s VZ) announced the possibility of LTE 4G services by the end of 2009, the skeptics came out. And rightly so since the fast wireless service is in its infancy stage with trials, proof-of-concepts and hardware still in the works. Today the company says that current trials are showing between 50Mbps and 60Mbps, although average speeds will vary on location and congestion.

More important is the goal of LTE service in Minneapolis, Columbus, and northern New Jersey before the end of this year. I expect it would be a limited test-run and not a fully deployed network for those areas, but we should see details as the year progresses. Pricing isn’t available yet and the first few areas are just the tip of the iceberg: InfoWorld says that 25 to 30 cities are expected to have LTE service in 2010. I’d say the WiMAX folks at Clear (s CLWR) just got the enemy’s battle plans. Now the question is: How quickly can they flank their opponent?